Wildfires are sometimes caused by tree branches hitting power lines.
PG&E is stepping up efforts to trim those trees.
Crews hired by PG&E are clearing trees and branches in Oakhurst.
PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles says, “On an annual basis we inspect over a hundred thousand miles of electric lines. … We’re going out. We send teams of inspectors, first, then the crews follow behind to do any maintenance that’s necessary to reduce the risk of wildfires.”
He says there’s added urgency this year, “We used to say we touch a million trees a year which means we inspect or do maintenance on them. Obviously with the growing risk of wildfire in our state that’s had to be accelerated and expanded. We’re looking at communities where the risk of wildfire is greatest. We’re looking at every mile of our line regardless of where it is. We’re priority that work at high risk areas.”
Electric lines are often involved in the start of wildfires.
Safe industry practices reduce this risk, but they do not eliminate it.
This means uncertainty for PG&E and it’s why state lawmakers are examining how much utilities should to be responsible for when accidents happen.
PG&E crews are also currently working in Dunlap and around Shaver.