PG&E: Outages Likely Averted Fire

Nov 16, 2019

Credit PG&E

Just days after regulators launched an investigation into PG&E’s recent precautionary blackouts, the company released photos showing dozens of places where a major fire could have ignited last month.

 

Pacific Gas and Electric found more than 100 places across 16 counties where high winds caused major damage. 

 

“Any of those 116 incidents that we found, could have sparked a wildfire.” PG&E Spokesman Paul Moreno said.

 

The utility released a dozen photos taken crews were working to restore power during the first of two major voluntary outages last month.  Pictures show toppled poles, broken tree branches hanging across power lines and wires knocked completely to the ground following high winds that began buffeting the state October 9th. 

 

Wind gusts exceeded 60 miles an hour in Tehama County and topped out at 77 miles per hour at a location in Sonoma County.  

 

 “The public safety power shutoff, we know they’re not convenient and pose hardships, we’re going to get better at doing those, but, it’s really necessary.” Moreno said. 

 

The utility says it is hoping to reduce both the scope and duration of blackouts in coming years, but that the blackouts will continue for another eight to ten years.