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Bear climbs utility pole, knocks out power to 4,500

By
Ben Hooper
Utility officials in California said 4,500 customers lose electricity when a bear climbed a utility pole and touched the high-voltage equipment. Photo by Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock
Utility officials in California said 4,500 customers lose electricity when a bear climbed a utility pole and touched the high-voltage equipment. Photo by Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A bear that knocked out electricity for 4,500 California residents may also be responsible for starting a fire, officials said.

Pail Moreno, a spokesman for utility provider PG&E, tweeted that power was knocked out to many residents in upper Butte Creek Canyon when a "bear apparently climbed a wooden pole and contacted high-voltage equipment at about 12:40 a.m." Monday.

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Moreno said PG&E was initially asked by not to restore power in some areas to safeguard firefighters battling the Nimshew Fire.

The Nimshew Fire started about the same time as the power outage, but PG&E and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said they have not yet been able to confirm whether the bear's actions were responsible for the fire.

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