PG&E Increasing Wildfire Prevention Actions
PG&E said this week that it will expand its system-wide Community Wildfire Safety Program, which was implemented following 2017 wildfires as an additional set of precautionary measures intended to further reduce wildfire threats.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company this week announced a series of additional measures it will implement to further decrease wildfire threats in communities that are at higher risk of wildfires, as well as additional support for its customers and their families impacted by the Camp Fire in Butte County. The actions that PG&E announced include implementing a series of additional safety measures, including expanded inspections and other safety precautions intended to further reduce wildfire threats throughout its service area; and also appointing an officer-level PG&E leader with the responsibility and accountability to oversee the longer-term rebuilding efforts in the fire-impacted area in Butte County.
"The families impacted by Camp Fire are our customers, our neighbors, and our friends, and our hearts go out to those who have lost so much. We are committed to supporting them through the recovery and rebuilding process and helping protect all of the customers we serve from the ever-increasing threat of wildfires," said Geisha Williams, PG&E Corporation's CEO and president.
PG&E has appointed Aaron Johnson, currently its vice president of Electric Operations, as the company's rebuilding officer to lead local community restoration efforts. Johnson will be responsible for coordinating with state and local officials to determine how to best modernize and rebuild the energy infrastructure across the impacted area; partnering with the local community to provide additional resources, such as housing and support services; and working with local leaders to identify and provide assistance to local philanthropic groups. "Aaron has the expertise and experience to lead our on-the-ground response efforts as we continue our efforts to help our customers and their communities recover and start to rebuild," Williams said.
PG&E said it will expand its system-wide Community Wildfire Safety Program, which was implemented following 2017 wildfires as an additional set of precautionary measures intended to further reduce wildfire threats. Among the safety actions PG&E is taking to address the growing wildfire threat are these:
- Detailed and enhanced inspections of electric infrastructure: conducting detailed safety inspections of more than 5,500 miles of transmission lines (consisting of approximately 50,000 transmission poles and towers in high fire-threat areas), in addition to routine inspections and maintenance. PG&E has already inspected approximately 350 miles of transmission lines in recent weeks, both with ground and climbing inspections and aerial imagery captured by drones or helicopters. PG&E plans to begin similar inspections of its distribution lines in high-fire-threat areas in early 2019.M.li>
- Enhanced vegetation management: As shared in early November and a part of the company's 2020 General Rate Case, PG&E will address vegetation that poses a higher potential for wildfire risk, such as overhanging branches and limbs directly above and around power lines and trees that are at an increased risk of falling into lines, as well as dead and dying trees.
- More real-time monitoring and intelligence: Part of the 2020 General Rate Case, this action will expand PG&E's weather station network to enhance weather forecasting and modeling. By 2022, PG&E will add approximately 1,300 new weather stations, a density of one station roughly every 20 miles in the high fire-risk areas, and the company plans to install nearly 600 new, high-definition cameras in high fire-threat areas by 2022.
More information on the Community Wildfire Safety Program is available at www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.