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Firefighters, PG&E prepare for heavy winds

Posted at 10:34 PM, May 18, 2021

Firefighters as well as PG&E are prepared for the heavy winds anticipated to arrive in the coming days.

Firefighters are appropriately positioning themselves to get ahead of the flames and the winds.

SLO City Fire Chief Keith Aggson said, “What we’ve found the last couple of years is we’ve been very successful having those pre-positioned engines and personnel so that when a fire starts we can jump on it more quickly with a greater number of resources.”

PG&E is prepared to jump on any power line issues that could potentially occur.

PG&E Communications Representative Mark Mesesan said, “We are always preparing in advance, in this case, for winds. There is always the possibility, in particular with extreme winds, of power lines coming down.”

Community members are encouraged to take steps to prepare themselves for a fire close by or if the power goes out.

Mesesan said, “If you come across a down powerline, treat it as energized and very dangerous. If an extreme event such as wind brings down a line and causes an outage, then we will immediately dispatch our field crews to make repairs.”

Aggson said, “We’re already seeing an early fire season, we know we’re going to have a long fire season, and know that with the combination of the drought and the elongated fire season that we will probably see greater and larger fires than we have the past few years.”

Individuals are encouraged to do anything that could even risk starting a fire, such as welding, early in the day and in a safe protected space.

Aggson said, “Try to do those things early in the morning so if you’re cutting your weeds back, try to do that before 10 a.m.”

PG&E recommends having flashlights nearby in the off chance there is a power outage at night, and if candles are being used to make sure they are away from flammables.

If you see a downed power line, call 911 and notify the PG&E customer service line at 1-800-743-5002.

PG&E Customers can get updates on outages in their neighborhood by contacting their outage information line, accessing their Electric Outage Map at pge.com, or by signing up for email, text, or phone alerts.