QUINCY – PG&E has seven mobile generators in place to power Quincy and Feather River Canyon communities should the Chips Fire damage both transmission lines powering those Plumas County towns. The generators arrived on Friday (Aug.10) and PG&E crews completed prep work on Sunday (Aug. 12).
PG&E continues to work closely with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies to track the status of the Chips Fire to take any needed actions.
The fire, which starts July 29, has now burned more than 30,000 acres.
Due to the complexity of connecting and powering on utility-scale generators to serve 3,400 homes and businesses, it could be several hours before the generators are fully online and all 3,400 customers restored should a transmission-line caused outage occur. Crews are on stand-by and ready to respond. Should the generators be needed, PG&E crews will connect cables to the substation and generators and then pick up customers in sections along each circuit as the generator loads are increased.
PG&E also might de-energize power lines for firefighter safety. PG&E advises customers in Plumas County to be prepared for temporary and longer outages.
PG&E offers these tips in case of fire-related outages:
- Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready.
- If you have a telephone that requires electricity, plan for alternate communication.
- Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator and freezer during an outage to prevent food from spoiling.
Report and get updates about outages at PG&E’s 24-Hour Customer Service Outage Line at 1-800-743-5002.
As of 8 a.m. Monday, the U.S. Forest Service said the Chips Fire had grown to 35,233 acres and was 12 percent contained. More than 1,000 personnel, using bulldozers, water tenders, helicopters and other equipment, are now fighting the fire, which started on July 29.
The report said: “The 640 structures that are considered threatened include the following communities: Lake Almanor West, Almanor, Pratville, the Big Meadows subdivision, Canyondam, Belden, Rush Creek, and Seneca, and structures along Caribou Road. PG&E representatives are working closely with the fire management team, and are prepared to de-energize lines as needed for firefighting efforts, including the use of aircraft.”
Mandatory and voluntary evacuations, depending on location, are in effect.
Butt Valley Reservoir recreation facilities administered by PG&E (Ponderosa Flat Campground, Cool Springs Campground, Ray Adams Day Use Area and Boat Launch, as well as Yellow Creek Campground) are closed due to the fire. The Gansner Bar, North Fork, and Queen Lily USFS campgrounds remain closed. The Little Grizzly dispersed camping area and High Lakes OHV area, are also closed.
Click here to read previous Currents stories on the PG&E’s efforts on behalf of customers living near the Chips Fire area.