PG&E Introduces Interactive Wildfire Safety Progress Map Ahead of 2024 Fire Season

Press release from PG&E:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) pgeAhead of the 2024 wildfire season, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is providing customers with a new tool that provides information about planned and completed wildfire prevention work throughout PG&E’s service area. PG&E’s  Wildfire Safety Progress Map is an interactive tool showing the progress of the company’s wildfire safety work. The tool recently has been enhanced to show more local wildfire prevention work and to let customers know if they’re eligible for assistance programs.

The tool allows customers and others to check any specific address as well as move the map to see what’s been done more broadly in their neighborhood, city and county.

The Stafford Woods Institute for the Environment recently recognized PG&E as one of the most advanced utilities in wildfire preparedness in the Western United States, citing PG&E’s investments in safety and innovation and the company’s comprehensive wildfire safety plan as contributing factors.

The Wildfire Safety Progress Map will provide customers with information on:

  • System upgrades, including installing stronger poles and covered powerlines.
  • Powerlines constructed underground to nearly eliminate wildfire risk and boost reliability.
  • Sectionalizing devices to lower the number of customers who lose power during outages.
  • Temporary microgrids that can power critical services, even when there is an outage.
  • Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) that automatically turn off power within one-tenth of a second if a wildfire hazard is detected.
  • Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), a tool of last resort when weather is severe.
  • Backup power assistance programs for eligible customers.

As PG&E continues to make system improvements for safety, it is also committed to keeping communities informed of their progress.

“We recognize the threat that wildfires pose to our state and have worked tirelessly to make our system safer in the face of a changing climate,” said Mark Quinlan, PG&E Senior Vice President of Wildfire, Emergency & Operations. “While we have made significant progress as a company, safety work is never finished. We look forward to sharing more information on our continued wildfire mitigation work to help keep our communities safe.”

Over the past several years, PG&E’s wildfire mitigation measures have led to significant safety improvements across the electric system, including:

  • Wildfire Risk Reduction: PG&E’s innovative layers of protection have reduced wildfire risk from equipment.
  • Ignition Reduction: In 2023, EPSS-protected powerlines reduced reportable ignitions by 72% compared to the 2018-2020 average.[1]
  • Increased Undergrounding: To date, PG&E has also constructed and energized more than 640 miles of underground powerlines in the highest-risk areas and remains on track to complete more than 1,600 miles of undergrounding through 2026.
  • Improved Reliability: Due to wildfire mitigation improvements and favorable weather conditions, the number of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) outages and customers impacted has decreased year over year. In 2019, PG&E had nine PSPS outages, impacting over 2 million customers; in 2023, there were only two outages impacting approximately 5,000 customers.

“Keeping customers and communities safe is PG&E’s top priority,” said Andy Abranches, Senior Director of Wildfire Preparedness and Operations. “We’re working every day to keep our system strong, safe and more resilient for the long term – and over the last year we’ve taken a big step toward that goal. As the summer wildfire season approaches, we still encourage customers to stay safe and prepared.”

To learn more about PG&E’s wildfire safety efforts, visit pge.com/wildfiresafety.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.

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Permanently on Monitoring
15 days ago

640 miles of undergrounding?

At this rate, my time on this tiny rock, hurtling through space and time, will be well past…

At least they only burnt down Greenville, 2 years ago…

Mild weather, increased cleanups, and at least a little better equipment and maintenance give the appearance of safety…

This summer will be the real test, and the little fire down by Livermore, has waved the green flag…

IMO, better spotting of arsonists from satellites (!) (yes, they will catch YOU!) has also improved the situation…

Don’t do stupid stuff, and fix all that wiring you have been ignoring, and if you don’t like PGE then get some panels, batteries and such, and start your OWN utility!

You’ll be glad you did.