Bobcat Fire Possibly Caused By Vegetation Contacting Overhead Conductor


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An investigation was underway this morning to determine if the Bobcat Fire was caused by vegetation coming into contact with a Southern California Edison overhead conductor.

U.S. Forest Service investigators have not discussed the details of the investigation with SCE, but the company told regulators, “SCE understands that in addition to retaining SCE's overhead conductor, USFS also removed and retained three tree branches in the area.''

“SCE is investigating the cause of the ignition and the 12:16 p.m. relay on its system, and evaluating whether vegetation in the area could have been a factor, including whether vegetation may have encroached within the minimum clearance distance or contacted the section of the overhead conductor retained by USFS.''

The fire, which has burned 115,796 acres and was 92% contained, was reported near Cogswell Dam in the Angeles National Forest at 12:21 p.m. on Sept. 6. A camera at Mount Wilson captured smoke in the area as early as 12:10 p.m.

On Sept. 16, SCE removed a 23-foot-long line of the conductor for the U.S. Forest Service to use in their investigation.

More than 300 firefighters continued to work the blaze, which has been burning for over a month. The full containment date for the fire is projected to be Oct. 30.

The blaze has destroyed 171 structures, including 87 residences, and damaged 47 structures, including 28 residences. The Nature Center at the Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area was destroyed, according to Los Angeles County parks officials.

A map, compiled from ongoing field damage inspection and subject to change, can be viewed at

All evacuation orders have been canceled and most roads have been reopened, with the exception of Big Santa Anita Rd (the Chantry Road).

The cost of fighting the fire has not been determined.

Photo: Getty Images

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