Posted on January 8, 2014

Carmel: PG&E, Others Thanked for Efforts during Big Sur Fire

CARMEL – The city of Carmel thanked PG&E, the American Red Cross, firefighters and other individuals and organizations who helped during the Big Sur fire in December.

PG&E crews replaced poles and wire to restore service after the Pfeiffer Fire in Big Sur.

Those involved were recognized at a City Council meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 7).

“The City of Carmel, as the closest community to Big Sur, would like to thank everyone who contributed,” said Mayor Jason Burnett, who called the response to the December fire “truly an extraordinary effort.”

He added, “Thank you for all that you did to protect our neighbors, friends, and colleagues in Big Sur.”

At the council meeting, PG&E was represented by Perry Vargas, an electric distribution supervisor, who was on-site in Big Sur during the fire, and by Dawn Mathes, a government relations representative based in Salinas.

During the fire, PG&E had a robust presence at the Incident Command post and shared the Mobile Command Vehicle with cooperating agencies.  After the fire, PG&E electric construction crews assessed burned areas and replaced damaged equipment to restore service.  Helicopters were used as part of the restoration efforts to transport some of the poles and conductor wire that was needed. Vegetation management crews removed dead and dying trees near power lines and across the landscape.

PG&E's Perry Vargas joined representatives from other organizations and Carmel city officials during the City Council meeting on Tuesday where those who helped during the Big Sur fire were thanked. (Photo by Dawn Mathes.)

PG&E successfully restored power to all customers before Christmas.

The Pfeiffer Fire burned 917 acres in the Los Padres National Forest between Dec. 16 and Dec. 20. Thirty-four residences and four outbuildings were damaged or destroyed.

The U.S. Forest Service worked in coordination with CalFire, California State Parks, the California Highway Patrol, the American Red Cross, the Big Sur Fire Brigade, several Monterey County agencies and PG&E. In all, about 200 firefighters and other personnel were involved.

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"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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