PG and E is once again using airplanes to help with early detection of potential wildfires around service and transmission lines. Spokesperson Brandi Merlo says this has been a regular part of maintenance for several years.
Locally, PG and E spotter flights originate from the Auburn Airport, one of seven arirports around Northern California being used by the power company. She says the flights usually take place in the afternoon and evening hours. Unlike the helicopters PG and E was using to inspect power and transmission lines, these planes should not be close to any structures.
The spotter flights cover most of PG and E’s service areas. Last year the company spotted 209 fires of which they were first reporters on on 10 of those fires.