Latest Wildfires News

California regulator slams PG&E over electricity shut-off

Oct. 18, 2019 9:26 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's top regulator excoriated top executives of the state's largest utility even as Pacific Gas & Electric repeatedly said they know they failed to meet public expectations when the company cut the power to more than 2 million people last week. Marybel Batjer, president of...

The Latest: California names director for wildfire safety

Oct. 18, 2019 7:53 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a massive power shut-off last week in Northern California (all times local): 4:45 p.m. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has named the first director of a new Wildfire Safety Division. Newsom said Friday that Caroline Thomas Jacobs will head the new division under the state's...

Santa Barbara County wildfire partially contained

Oct. 18, 2019 10:02 AM EDT

GAVIOTA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters have 20% containment of a 443-acre (179-hectare) wildfire on the south Santa Barbara County coast as gusty winds are blowing in parts of Southern California. The fire erupted Thursday in the El Capitan Canyon area 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Santa Barbara....

California utility chief pledges to improve communications

Oct. 17, 2019 11:03 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's largest utility pledged to improve communications. But it reminded state regulators that its difficult decision to pre-emptively shut off power to more than 2 million people last week may have prevented deadly wildfires. Bill Johnson, chief executive of Pacific Gas &...

The Latest: PG&E chief pledges to improve communications

Oct. 17, 2019 10:24 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Northern California power outages (all times local): 7:15 p.m. California's largest utility pledged Thursday to improve communications. But it said the difficult decision to pre-emptively cut off power last week could have prevented catastrophic wildfires. Pacific...

Contractor guilty in California wildfire death labor case

Oct. 16, 2019 9:04 PM EDT

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — The owner of a bulldozer that overturned and killed the operator while battling a huge California wildfire has been found guilty of violating labor laws. KQED-TV says a Monterey County judge ruled Wednesday that Ian Czirban failed to have workers' compensation insurance that's...

Virginia officials issue warning as wildfire season begins

Oct. 16, 2019 4:29 AM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials are warning residents about what could be one of the most severe wildfire seasons in years. On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced the start of the fall wildfire season in Virginia, which runs through Nov. 30. Most of Virginia faces an increased risk of wildfires...

Wildfires spread through parts of Lebanon, Syria

Oct. 15, 2019 11:26 AM EDT

DAMOUR, Lebanon (AP) — Wildfires spread through parts of Lebanon on Tuesday after forcing some residents to flee their homes in the middle of the night, while others were stuck inside as the flames reached villages south of Beirut, authorities said. A heat wave in the region coupled with strong winds...

Los Angeles fire began under power lines, cause not known

Oct. 14, 2019 11:53 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A destructive fire that exploded on the edge of Los Angeles began beneath a high-voltage transmission tower owned by Southern California Edison, fire officials said Monday. Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators determined the origin of the Saddle Ridge Fire was beneath power...

Do California power shutoffs work? Hard to know, experts say

Oct. 14, 2019 11:49 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Millions of Californians spent part of the week in the dark in an unprecedented effort by the state's large electrical utilities to prevent another devastating wildfire. It was the fifth time Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has preemptively cut the power but by far the largest to date...