The Getty fire might have started from a spark from a power line, after it was hit by a tree branch, Los Angeles city officials said Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 29.

Investigators are looking into whether a dried eucalyptus tree branch found hanging from a telecommunications line underneath a LADWP powerline was the cause of the fire that broke out near the 405 Freeway, according to a statement from the utility.

The branch, which hung near the origin of the blaze near 1901 N. Sepulveda Blvd., is thought to have caused a spark in the power line that ignited nearby brush, utility officials said.

City officials also released a video, through a tweet by a fire department official, of that tree branch and other footage that have led investigators to form this theory of the Getty fire’s cause.

Mayor Eric Garcetti also informed reporters Tuesday afternoon of the results of the city’s preliminary investigation.

“This was simply put an act of God,” Garcetti said.

A motorist’s dash cam also caught the initial spark, officials said.


Authorities are also looking into who owns the land. Investigators say that the branch likely broke off and was blown from a tree about 30 feet away, according to utility officials, that distance is farther than the vegetation and clearance setback required by the state.

On July 10, LADWP officials did brush clearance around its utility lines in that location and 248 trees were trimmed.

The inspection showed “there was no failure of electrical equipment involved,” according to LADWP, and that “all wires and equipment, including the pole, remain fully intact.”

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