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Texas wildfires were ignited by power lines, investigators say [Video]

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Canadian Environment and Climate

Downed power lines and other utility equipment have led to other major wildfires, including the deadly blaze in Maui last year.

CANADIAN, Texas — Power lines ignited massive wildfires across the Texas Panhandle that destroyed homes and killed thousands of livestock, officials said Thursday, including the largest blaze in state history that the utility provider Xcel Energy said its equipment appeared to have sparked.

The Texas A&M Forest Service said its investigators have concluded that the Smokehouse Creek fire was ignited by power lines, as was the nearby Windy Deuce fire.

The utility provider Xcel Energy said Thursday that its equipment appeared to have played a role in igniting the Smokehouse Creek fire, though it did not believe its equipment was responsible for the Windy Deuce fire.

The Smokehouse Creek fire burned nearly 1,700 square miles (4,400 square kilometers) and destroyed hundreds of structures. The Minnesota-based company said in a statement that it disputes claims that “it acted negligently” in maintaining and operating infrastructure.

“Based on currently …

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