The following is a press release issued by 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.
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.