The 2018 Camp Fire was the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. By the time the smoke cleared, more than 150,000 acres had burned. Damages surpassed $16 billion. Dozens had died. Thousands more were displaced. So how did it all happen?
The increasingly hot and dry conditions in the region coupled with the high Diablo winds turned the forest floor into a powder keg. Within hours, thousands of homes were destroyed in Butte County and the surrounding areas.
Katherine Blunt was just a few days into her new role as a reporter covering renewable energy and utilities for the Wall Street Journal when the fire blew up
She chronicled how the blaze occurred and the aftermath for Pacific Gas & Electric — the utility whose equipment caused the fire — in her 2022 book “California Burning: The Fall of Pacific Gas and Electric and What it Means for America’s Power Grid.”
This week, Brad talks with Katherine about reporting on the Camp Fire and its ramifications for the local community and PG&E, and what it all means for the utility industry.
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