By Deanna Contreras
PG&E will fly low by helicopter over several communities in Sonoma and Mendocino counties today and Thursday (Jan. 25-26) to check for trees near power lines that may have been weakened by the past five years of drought.
Even with the recent series of storms which brought significant rain to the region, years of drought conditions have affected trees across California. Weakened trees and branches can fall into power lines, leading to outages and even wildland fires.
In Sonoma County, flights will occur over towns along Highway 116 and Valley Ford Road; including, Bodega, Valley Ford, Bloomfield, Two Rock, Southern Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Kenwood and Glen Ellen. Other flights will occur along Skaggs Springs Road and Annapolis Road over the community of Annapolis.
In Mendocino County, helicopters will fly along Highway 128 (Anderson Valley Hwy), Booneville Ukiah Rd. (253) and Flynn Creek Road over the towns of Booneville and Philo and the communities of Ingram, Yorkville, Soda Springs, Hendy Grove, Reilly Heights, Navarro and Comptche.
Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low — about 200 to 300 feet — along distribution power lines.
PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters to check affected trees.
Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.