Don’t Worry About That Helicocopter

Press release from PG&E:

As part of its response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct aerial patrols in Humboldt County on [Friday, March 10] to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

Even with the recent winter storms, five years of drought in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. That’s why we are taking extraordinary measures to help keep the communities we serve safe,” said Kamran Rasheed, manager, PG&E vegetation management.

Every year, PG&E patrols and inspects all 134,000 miles of its overhead electric lines. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has been inspecting trees along power lines in high fire-danger areas a second time, six months after its annual patrol because weakened trees can die quickly. Last year, PG&E conducted second patrols on 68,000 miles of power line, and in 2017, expects to patrol 73,000 miles of line a second time. The company will patrol 10,750 of those miles by helicopter.

Depending on clear weather conditions, the helicopter will leave the Arcata-Eureka Airport and fly between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The surveyor will inspect trees along Highway 36 and fly over the towns of Mad River and Ruth and the community of Dinsmore. It also will fly along Highways 1 and 271 over the towns of Garberville, Benbow and Leggett and the communities of Bell Springs, Harris, Andersonia and Hales Grove.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground. Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.

If patrols identify dead trees, PG&E will send inspectors on foot to verify a tree is dead, and then contact the home or land owner to schedule removal.





  • Wildfire risk?…….. Not likely. Ever see the first Young Guns? “Gentleman…. Get ready for hell”… this year will be a doozey…….. Tree fuggin mortality crisis…. Is that what they say when they’ve run out of State Sponsored droughts? Is that what they say when global warming turns to climate change? Is that what they imagine after MIT says CO2 is absolutely what we thought it was…. Plant food. Seriously sick of these fuggin choppers…. Didnt need em before. And they aren’t runnin like this in other CA rural counties. Why dont you contact owners BEFORE you send out a foot patrol? Buncha sketchy hippies in trucks creepin around right now.

    • They must be really worried I have had 7 different crews to look at the powerlines this year On my property , I live in a meadow no trees for Atleast quarter mile lol and you can see them from the road. Could of just called me and asked if there were any trees close to the lines could of saved them tens of thousands of dollars, must not be able to see out of the helicopter either it’s been here twice too. (I don’t even have pg&e all solar) no Green houses or pot either so I don’t care just kind of strange, seems like some one is taking advantage of them

  • they really work for the icecream co.

    very high number of pg&e helicopters to not worry about the past couple of years…

  • Hey here’s an idea . Don’t do shady stuff and you’ve nothing to worry about.

    • Who’s worried?I just pointed out pg&e probaby wasted 10k on a 1/4 mile stretch of line, I think whoever there hiring to do this is taking them for a ride, they came more this year already than the last 5

      • Actually the contractor who patrols the lines for PG&E bids the work as lump sum, meaning the patrol company (WECI) could spend a month on your little 1/4 mile stretch of line and it wouldn’t cost PG&E or the rate payers a dime more. If you read the deed to your property it clearly states if there are PG&E facilities they have the right to ingress and egress at there convienence in order to maintain there facilities. These are all good people just keeping our lights on and our community safe.

        • Good I don’t care, they don’t do dick for me tho,(solar) chillaxe alittle Ron, that would make sense as to why there are always different company names on the trucks from year to year thanks for the info

  • I certainly wished PG&E had better monitored the TREE TRIMMING COMPANY here in Prunedale, CA! These “little guys” from THIS certain company come on my property, which is fine, but they NEVER are the same guys. The trees are NOT on MY property. The trees they “say” they trim were NOT the huge trees that uprooted and fell during last months deluge! The linemen had a hard time finding downed poles as well as lines in this little section. The mess is still a mess will be for years.
    I THANK all the PG&E and helpers from OTHER parts of the State and States for THEIR hard arduous task in keeping us informed and checking on us who were without electricity for quite awhile.
    So I say fly OVER HERE MORE often in CENTRAL CALIFORNIA…check the trees check the poles check the lines!

  • I have always wondered why folks in the rural areas are freaked out about helicopters flying around. I can understand it if they are bringing in troops with guns who act like thugs rather than law enforcement people.

    But think about this!! For years, the US and most other large country governments have had technology that allows them all to take pictures of someone sitting in a chair on the ground outside reading a newspaper and the cameras can read the headlines. And that was the technology many years ago before the thousands of satellites that now cross our skies. Let’s not forget thermography which allows private companies and agencies to determine what kind of plant life is growing in most any area. They can also tell if anyone is home, how many might be there and often can hear what they are saying. Am I paranoid or realistic?

    Your kid can buy a device at the local toy store that allows them to spy on your conversations and take pictures of you.

    Oh, and all this government spying is going on from miles up with devices that are traveling very fast. Also, there are devices that move with the earth and just stay in one spot and spy.

    Also, there is no longer any kind of phone that can’t be tracked or listened to nor any computer that can’t be hacked. We talk about privacy as if it still existed. The internet is routed through the biggest spy systems in the world so internet privacy is a joke.

    And here’s the really scary stuff. Science, funded by government is working on devices that can read our minds. The world gets more interesting by the moment and more scary. Now, at this point, you are probably convinced that I am a paranoid wacko. I admit that I may be a wacko, but I am not paranoid. All the tech I am talking about can be found in magazines like Popular Science or MIT’s science mag or other legitimate journals. And, next time you are in a toy store ask about toy spy kits and see what they can do.

    Have you ever googled your own place on Google Earth? The version they give us for free is very limited but it can still show your home, property, cars and sometimes people and dogs. What do you think can be seen by the folks that pay for much higher resolution data?

    This is the Brave New World!!

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