With California entering its fourth consecutive year of record drought, PG&E announced today (June 25) that it is partnering with CAL FIRE and local Fire Safe Councils to help prevent wildfires across Northern and Central California.
The utility is providing almost $2 million in funding to local Fire Safe Councils in the following counties: Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Contra Costa, Alameda, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Nevada, Placer, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Trinity, San Mateo, Lake, Marin and Yuba.
Last year, the company provided $5.6 million in funding to local Fire Safe Councils for fuel reduction, emergency access and defensible space projects to enhance the safety and preparedness of local communities.
CAL FIRE has already responded to more than 2,400 wildfires this year which that burned 8,500 acres, destroyed homes and forced residents to evacuate.
PG&E is funding 19 local Fire Safe Councils’ projects to create fire breaks in and around communities, improve emergency access roads and help low-income residents clear defensible space from around their properties to protect them from fire.
In addition to its already extensive vegetation management program, PG&E is conducting additional aerial and ground inspections around its power lines to help ensure that trees or limbs do not come into contact with equipment and deploying hundreds of tree workers to address fire risks across its service area.
The utility is also conducting daily aerial fire patrols in key areas to detect early signs of wildfires and reporting what it finds to CAL FIRE, and the U.S. Forest Service if smoke or fire is spotted on federal land. Last year, PG&E funded the installation of remote sensing cameras in 20 fire look-out towers.
PG&E also continues to partner with CAL FIRE on its “One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire” public safety campaign to minimize the frequency, size and cost of wildfires started by human ignition. PG&E is spreading this message to its customers by putting the CAL FIRE “One Less Spark” logo on billing envelopes sent to 4 million customers.
It will also appear on e-bill inserts for the utility’s 1.7 customers who receive e-bills. Along with promoting safe outdoor equipment use, and proper vehicle use and maintenance to prevent fires, CAL FIRE urges all Californians to learn more about debris burning and campfire safety. You can find out how, when and what to burn safely, and how to practice campfire safety and obtain a permit here at One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire.