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Wildfire prevention up for discussion during PG&E townhall

Posted at 5:34 AM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 16:07:33-04

Fire prevention will be the topic of discussion during a virtual town hall event being put on by PG&E Wednesday afternoon.

People can attend virtually at noon and the event is expected to last through 1:30 p.m. The link to join is here or people can dial in using this number 800-369-1705.

PG&E communications representative Mark Mesesan told KSBY, “From 2000 to 2021, we experienced the driest 22-year period in our state in over 1,200 years.”

The Central Coast is still experiencing severe drought conditions with little rain to offset the dryness. That paired with certain weather conditions is cause for concern at times for some PG&E equipment.

“Extreme conditions with weather and ground from vegetation and threats with electrical equipment starting wildfires, we're going to continue to work to improve our systems so that happens less and less,” said Mesesan.

PG&E is working to forward its electrical systems, including putting up stronger poles covered in insulated wire, enhancing vegetation management, and setting up underground electrical lines.

However, fire season is in full swing and Mesesan added, “I don't think we've seen the worst of it yet, which is why we're preparing our customers with this safety.”

According to the company, PG&E committed to undergrounding 10,000 miles of power lines, beginning in areas with the greatest fire risk. This has not yet happened in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara counties.

They did complete miles of pole and wire replacements in both counties in 2021, with more plans for this year.