by Katy Grimes, Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As appearing in the California Globe
PG&E plan to cut power on windy days could leave millions in the dark, without power
Following the devastating California wildfires of 2018, Pacific Gas and Electric recently announced it will cut power this summer to electricity customers on high-wind days to avoid future wildfires.
While PG&E’s transmission lines ignited fires, others say many years with little to no forest management and cleanup of the forest floor and dead timber allowed the forests to ignite, and was the real cause of the devastation.
“After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, CAL FIRE has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area. The fire started in the early morning hours near the community of Pulga in Butte County,” California fire officials said in a statement, adding that “the tinder dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures, promoted this fire and caused extreme rates of spread.”
PG&E has cut power pretty regularly this fall and winter in the northern parts of the state. I own a cabin and land within the El Dorado National Forest, and received 12 text alert notifications of power outages from PG&E since October, most of which lasted days. The utility adjusted my electricity bill accordingly, but everything in the refrigerator and freezer had to be thrown out several times this winter and spring.