“Some stakeholders have broader concerns about PG&E’s strategies for preventing fires in its service area. April Rose Maurath Sommer, executive and legal director of the Wild Tree Foundation, noted that the utility has scaled back the number of miles of power lines it intends to “harden” through a combination of transferring equipment underground, installing covered power lines and building stronger poles.
In 2020, PG&E aimed to harden 220 miles of its system, and completed approximately 342 total miles. This year, however, the utility adopted a new wildfire modeling tool that has changed its thinking around system hardening, according to its latest fire mitigation plan, and it is only targeting 180 miles. That 180 miles, however, represents greater risk reduction than its previous plan, the utility said.
Instead of system hardening, PG&E has ‘continued with their main focus being on vegetation management,’ Maurath Sommer said. ‘Unfortunately, it’s been demonstrated over and over again that they just can’t seem to get vegetation management right … so this is not new,’ she said.”
-Utility Dive, PG&E equipment may be linked with another Northern California wildfire, utility reports (July 20, 2021) read more