'Meanwhile, state investigators trying to establish the cause of the inferno appeared to be zeroing in on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines.
A landowner near where the blaze began, Betsy Ann Cowley, said PG&E notified her the day before the blaze that crews needed to come onto her property because the utility’s wires were sparking. Investigators have since declared the area a crime scene.
PG&E had no comment on the landowner’s account but acknowledged last week that it was having problems with its transmission lines in the area just before the fire erupted.
More than 5,000 firefighters battling the blaze made gains overnight, slowing the flames’ advance toward Oroville, a town of about 19,000 people. The fire, which has charred 195 square miles (505 square kilometers) and destroyed more than 6,400 homes since it started Thursday, was reported 30 percent contained.
At the other end of the state, in Southern California, firefighters continued making progress against a blaze that killed two people in star-studded Malibu and destroyed over 400 structures.
Crews lit backfires and extended containment lines overnight. Officials said they expected to have the more than 146-square-mile (378-square-kilometer) fire fully contained by Thursday.'
Read more: Claim: PG&E Disclosed Sparking Wires to Resident Day Before California Wildfires Began
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