Fires

2017 Wall Fire in Butte County sparked by failed electrical panel at residence, Cal Fire says

Cal Fire dumps fire retardant on Wall Fire in Butte County

The 2,000-acre Wall Fire in Butte County was 2 percent contained with more than 300 people evacuated as of Saturday afternoon.
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The 2,000-acre Wall Fire in Butte County was 2 percent contained with more than 300 people evacuated as of Saturday afternoon.

Cal Fire investigators have determined the Wall Fire, a July 2017 wildfire that destroyed more than 40 homes and damaged dozens of other structures in Butte County, was caused by a defective electrical panel at a residence, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday.

The Butte County District Attorney’s office has reviewed the case and will not file civil or criminal charges in the matter, Cal Fire said in a news release.

The fire broke out July 7, 2017, consuming 6,033 acres before being contained July 15 of that year.

The failed electrical panel was at a residence located on Chinese Wall Road, southeast of Oroville.

No one was injured or killed in the Wall Fire, which was the first of Butte County’s four major blazes in 2017. The La Porte Fire in October burned 6,151 acres and destroyed 74 buildings. The Ponderosa Fire burned just over 4,000 acres and destroyed 32 homes after sparking in late August. The largest Butte County fire that year, the Cherokee Fire, destroyed just six buildings across 8,417 acres.

Cal Fire last summer declared that at least 12 of California’s wildfires in 2017 were caused by sagging PG&E power lines, investigations found.

Earlier this year, Cal Fire said its investigators had determined the state’s deadliest wildfire in 2017, the Tubbs Fire, was caused by a private electrical system and not PG&E equipment. The Tubbs Fire swept through Sonoma and Napa counties in October, killing 22 people and razing more than 5,600 structures.

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