December 17, 2018 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Wildfire Root Cause Analysis – Was an Equipment Failure the Cause of the Camp Fire that Killed 85 People?

The Ukiah Daily Journal published an interesting story titled:

It was originally built in 1919. What failed on PG&E tower at heart of Camp Fire probe?

Was it

  • Aging equipment?
  • Lack of maintenance?
  • High winds?
  • Failure to take precautions?

Or a combination of the factors that led to an out of control wildfire that killed 85 people?

Cal Fire is trying to determine the ignition source and there are multiple possibilities.

It seems that the several experts interviewed all had their favorite hypothesis for the fire’s cause and potential corrective actions.

Which makes one wonder, in the emotionally charged environment after a fire with 85 fatalities and multiple lawsuits, can there be an impartial investigation focused on the facts.

The lesson learned so far is:

It is better to solve problems before a disaster
than to do an investigation after a disaster.

If you would like to learn to use advanced root cause analysis to investigate equipment failures, as well as how to use the same tools to prevent failures proactively, attend a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training Course. See the upcoming public courses held around the world at:

Accidents, Current Events, Equipment Reliability / Equifactor®, Investigations, Root Cause Analysis
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