Statement by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry on the Tubbs Fire Investigation

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) made the following statement today after the announcement that the investigation of the Tubbs Fire has been concluded:

Today Governor Newsom and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL-FIRE) announced the completion of the investigation of the October 2017 “Tubbs Fire.”

I’ve been briefed by CAL-FIRE that the cause of the Tubbs Fire was a “private electric facility.”  This “facility” consisted of private power lines connected to a home from PG&E main lines, legally and through agreement with the utility.  Maintenance for such facilities is the legal responsibility of the homeowner.  The fire resulted from a failure of the homeowner’s equipment, most likely caused by weather conditions at the time.

I remain most concerned about the victims of the Tubbs Fire, and the increasing number and seriousness of the wildfires over the past several years.  The effort to rebuild after these horrific events continues and we must be ever-mindful of each victim’s well-being and their irreplaceable loss of family members and homes that they’ve spent their lives assembling.

After the victims’ welfare, the next most important thing to me is that we must redouble our efforts to significantly increase fire prevention activities in our state.  The fact that there are multiple potential causes of these disasters should cement in our minds that the changing conditions in our environment will continue to result in more frequent and more serious wildfires.  When our climate is drier and hotter, we must act on our commitments to better land use planning, better maintenance of our private and public spaces, and better stewardship of our forests and wildlands. 

This will be hard work, and it will require us to strengthen our partnerships with private entities, homeowners, and local and federal (which owns 57% of our State’s forested lands) governments, because fire does not respect property lines.

My legislative and oversight efforts of the past two years in the Assembly have focused on wildfire recovery and prevention; these efforts will continue.  I am heartened that the Governor’s budget proposal commits significant new resources to emergency response and alert systems to protect Californians.   However, I am also particularly thankful that his budget directs hundreds of millions of dollars to prevention activities.  This is the only path towards reducing the frequency and seriousness of future wildfire events and the tremendous pain that results from them.

Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.

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