Cox Denies Fiber Optic Cable To Blame For San Diego WildfiresCox Denies Fiber Optic Cable To Blame For San Diego Wildfires
Previously, the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection had pointed to lines operated by SDG&E and Cox as linked to three fires in the county last October.
September 4, 2008
Cox Communications has issued a strong denial to a report from the California Public Utilities Commission that charges Cox and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) failed to adequately maintain lines that allegedly caused devastating wildfires last year in Southern California.
While the 32-page report from the PUC's Consumer Protection & Safety Division said lines by SDG&E and Cox came in contact causing fires that spread in three fires in San Diego County, both companies said the report was not factual. In a statement, Cox said the line in question "was fully intact prior to the extreme Santa Ana winds, which caused SDG&E's lines and our lines to come into contact." "One thing that is not in question," the Cox statement continued, "is that Cox fiber optic cables are not electrical cables and do not carry electrical current to start a fire. We are confident that after a full investigation, the Commission will agree that the evidence does not support staff conclusions." Previously, the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection had pointed to lines operated by SDG&E and Cox as linked to three fires in the county last October -- charges that were also denied by the two companies. In the wake of wildfires in Southern California, Zev Yaroslavsky a Los Angeles Country Board Supervisor, called for officials to consider the possibility of burying lines; the proposal has been considered in the past, but the high expense of putting lines underground has been a damper to date. The SDG&E also challenged the PUC report, stating that the report "is full of speculation and faulty conclusions, with sparse evidence -- if any -- to support its claims."
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