PG&E Conducting ‘Aerial Patrols’ Through October

This is a press release from Pacific Gas and Electric Company:

“The plane [above] with tail # 6409D is the main plane that has been and will continue to fly from Eureka but there are 6 planes flying daily across our service territory, so there may be a little overlap in flights over SoHum and Eastern County with tail numbers #N133PJ and 5731C,” said Deanna Contreras of PG&E. “They fly above 3,000 feet, so I wouldn’t consider them low-flying.”

EUREKA, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is conducting its daily aerial fire detection patrols across hundreds of miles of its service area. This year, PG&E has added two new routes to the patrols which assist the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE and local fire agencies with early fire detection and response. Early detection of smoke or fire allows fire agencies to quickly respond to accurate locations.

“Wildfires in California have grown in number, size and intensity in recent years. We all must adapt to this new normal and do even more to prevent and prepare for fires. That’s why we’ve increased the area and number of customers that our daily aerial patrols will cover to help keep communities safe,” said Pat Hogan, PG&E senior vice president of Electric Operations.

The patrols began on June 1 and will run until October 31, unless conditions allow for an earlier end or require an extension. Seven planes will fly daily routes from late afternoon until dusk.

Using fixed-wing aircraft, fire spotters will operate along these routes:

·        Redding (out of Red Bluff) to Humboldt to Lake County (see picture)

·        Redding to Auburn in the Northern Sierra

·        Auburn to Sonora in the Central Sierra

·        Sonora to Porterville in the Southern Sierra

·        Vacaville to Solvang near the coast

·        Redding to Hoopa to MacArthur (Siskiyou County and northeastern Shasta County)

·        Mendocino County

The patrols are coordinated through PG&E’s aerial operations. The Mendocino County route is co-funded by PG&E and run by the Mendocino County Aerial Fire Patrol Co-Operative. The Co-Op patrols will run through October 15.



  • Wow, so is that a Cessna 172? Which can take off during the high wind events that PG&E’s fires break out during? Yeah, I don’t think so. That thing isn’t gonna be taking off with an 80 mph cross wind.

    So what will it be doing? Because fires are *easily* reported by folks on the ground. And a lot more effectively too. What will it be doing? Ratting people out to Air Quality for their BBQ, that’s what.

    PG&E aughta concentrate on following the *law* by maintaining their fire spawning abatements instead of fumbling about with half baked PR stunts. Besides NASA’s MODIS monitors the whole damned planet daily.

  • You’re upset that a airplane is less practical than local people reporting from the ground but then you also justify it with the NASA monitors earth from satellites anyways? Oxymoron much?

  • This is a feel good stunt for burning down half of the state. Obviously not worried about cost either they sent 8 people 5 times to look at then cut down one tree on my property, I would cut it down for free if I thought it was a a hazard (it was 5ft). I think I need to be a subcontractor for PG&E! 😉 but whatever at least it’s not my $$

  • Thayer just checking the lines for overgrown trees It happens every year about this time

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