CAMARILLO, California – Equipment failure on electrical distribution lines owned and operated by California Resources Corp. (CRC), caused the 2019 Maria Fire, which burned nearly 10,000 acres and damaged four structures, an investigation by the Ventura Fire Department and CAL FIRE determined.
Fire investigators found that an electrical conductor separated and contacted a metal pipe on the ground, igniting the fire.
The fire started along the ridgetop of South Mountain in Santa Paula on October 31, 2019, amid extreme fire weather conditions. It quickly spread to the southwest, consuming 9,999 acres of native vegetation and damaging four structures. It took a week for firefighters to fully contain the fire.
Ventura County Fire Department investigators were dispatched to the scene and worked with investigators from CAL FIRE to determine the cause of the fire.