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PGE Wildfire Prevention Efforts Under Fire Here

This is the first year that PG and E’s new program designed to reduce wildfires from utility line ignitions has been in full force in most of Nevada County. And there have been numerous complaints to County supervisors about frequent and prolonged outages, due to the increased sensitivity of the lines. It’s called Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings. Supervisor Sue Hoek says her district has been especially hit hard. Brandon Sanders, with the Sierra Division of Government Affairs, acknowledged, during Tuesday’s Board meeting, that the circuit for the Penn Valley and Rough and Ready area has had the most numerous and sustained outages…

click to listen to Brandon Sanders

PG and E has been touting that the program resulted in 80-percent fewer ignitions last year. But one of their power lines was recently linked to the Mosquito Fire. Meanwhile, Superviser Heidi Hall said she’s also been inundated with complaints about sloppy and incomplete vegetation removal work, including where she lives…

click to listen to Heidi Hall

In his presentation to the Board, Sanders said contractors had removed vegetation from 244 miles of county roads last year, but just 95 so far this year. Also, there’s only been one mile of utility system hardening this year, with 52 miles completed last year. Also, just one mile of undergrounding lines this year, but with a goal of 92 miles next year.

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