Friday, September 22, 2023

PG&E Flying Above Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, and Sonoma Counties This Week


The following is a press release issued by PG&E:

An example of a Bell 407 that may be conducting patrols along transmission lines in the North Bay and North Coast [Photograph from PG&E]

 As part of its ongoing efforts to keep customers safe by reducing wildfire risk, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct aerial patrols in Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Humboldt counties. Scheduled helicopter patrols are part of the company’s Vegetation Management Program to detect dead or dying trees. Starting Monday, October 24, patrols will occur along several electric transmission lines located in the following areas:

  • Marin County: Sausalito, San Rafael, Bolinas, Novato, Olema
  • Lake County: Clearlake, Lower Lake, Kelseyville, Middletown, Lucerne, Clearlake Oaks, Upper Lake, Lakeport, Cobb (Geysers)
  • Napa County: Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena
  • Sonoma County: Healdsburg, Geyserville, Fort Ross, Santa Rosa, Cotati, Cloverdale, Monte Rio, Windsor, Jenner, Annapolis
  • Mendocino County: Hopland, Mendocino, Gualala, Fort Bragg, Philo, Ukiah, Elk, Point Arena
  • Humboldt County: Humboldt Bay, Orrick

“Helicopter patrols allow our crews to identify hazard trees that could pose a safety risk, just one of the many ways PG&E is working to manage trees and other vegetation located near powerlines,” said Ron Richardson, Regional Vice President for PG&E’s North Coast Region.

Depending on the weather conditions, foresters will fly a Bell 407 from the Ukiah Municipal Airport to the transmission lines and back for refueling. Flights may be as low as 300 feet and could be between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Flights are expected to conclude by end of day Friday, October 28; however, weather delays may push to flights to additional days.

Helicopters may reach higher elevations in areas where livestock are present. If determined necessary by a spotter from the helicopters, PG&E will send ground crews to conduct further inspections.

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PG&E is using helicopters to inspect the trees along transmission lines within High Fire-Threat Districts, as outlined by the California Public Utilities Commission, across Northern and Central California through the end of the year.

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  1. They caused so many fires in 2017 all over California… They are doing this so they don’t continue to get sued. ‘Wildfire’ is a misnomer. They are preventing their equipment from starting more fires, killing people and destroying more lives. Negligent maintenance practices led to the fire which destroyed Redwood Valley, which is STILL rebuilding. If you look up Pg and E’s ‘Wildfire Plan 2022’, they state there will be an END to wildfires! What they mean is *fires their equipment starts.
    (Nothing against those who work for pg and e, we all gotta eat)

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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