PG&E response to wildfires at Nevada County Board of Supervisors Meeting | TheUnion.com
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PG&E response to wildfires at Nevada County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has been in some pretty hot water lately.

Having declared bankruptcy, the electrical company is trying to ensure the prevention of future power lines from breaking, and acting quickly to take care of any damage in the case that ones does.

It was no surprise then that wildfire prevention was the reason Brandon Sanders, public affairs representative for PG&E, attended the Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. His appearance was particularly relevant for Nevada County residents, as the region is prone to fires.



“We live in a high hazard area,” said District 5 Board Supervisor Richard Anderson at the meeting.

As Sanders’ slides showed, Nevada County falls into the “Tier 2” and “Tier 3,” or elevated and extreme risk levels, for potential wildfires. The urgency for defending against fires wasn’t lost on Sanders, who noted how quickly the company needs to act in order to prevent future fires in Northern California.




“We need to be doing more,” said the public affairs representative.

The representative focused on three things the company is trying to accomplish to keep its customers, and the surrounding community, safe: Real time monitoring of high risk areas; added safety measures for its power lines; and system hardening. To protect county residents, Sanders said there will be vegetation management, which accounts for 49 percent of forest fires, according to the PG&E Wildlife Safety Plan report.

Per the same report, the electrical company plans to remove some 375,000 trees in 2019, which is up from 160,000 in 2018. This is an important task, as the report acknowledges there are “more than 100 million trees adjacent to its overhead power lines with the potential to either grow into or fall into the lines.”

The company says it wants to be proactive during periods of hectic weather conditions like high winds and droughts. During those times, the company will likely shut off power to residents in the relevant areas, and attempt to reach out to those customers via text 48 hours and 24 hours before shut offs begin.

Through listing all of PG&E’s added security measures made necessary by the era of climate change, Sanders made sure to encourage actions that Nevada County residents have taken around wildfire prevention, making reference to numerous public discussions.

“I want to applaud the county on what you all are doing around fire safety,” Sanders said.

You can reach Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or by email at scorey@theunion.com.


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