Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today said that it is
cooperating fully with an investigation by the California Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) into the source of ignition for
the Butte Fire.
In a CAL FIRE incident briefing in Angels Camp, California, today, Barry
Anderson, PG&E vice president of emergency preparedness and operations,
“While we don’t have all the facts yet, a live tree may have contacted a
PG&E line in the vicinity of the ignition point. We are cooperating
fully with CAL FIRE in an investigation of whether this could have been
a source of ignition for the Butte fire.
“We don’t know if a tree making contact with our line caused the fire.
That will be the subject of the CAL FIRE investigation, and these types
of investigations take time. We do know the people who lost their homes
in this fire are our customers. The first responders fighting this fire
are our partners. The State of California facing this terrible fire
season is our home. And, as we learn about the two deaths that have
occurred in the fire, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of
“Regardless of the outcome of the investigation we are going to do
everything in our power to help our customers, support our first
responder partners and work with the State of California to improve fire
safety and fire response. We are working closely with the Red Cross to
provide for the immediate needs of the community.
“As part of our support for CAL FIRE’s investigation, we are reviewing
our inspection and patrol data for 2014 and 2015 for the area near this
tree and we will be sharing the results of those inspections and patrols
with CAL FIRE.
“I want to reassure our customers that we at PG&E take the risk of
wildfires very seriously and are focused on doing everything possible to
mitigate the risk of fire during this drought. Since June, we have been
conducting daily air patrols along sections of major electric lines to
look for hazards that could spark wildfires. We have provided $2 million
in funding to local Fire Safe Councils for fire fuel reduction,
emergency access projects and public education. We have provided funding
for lookout towers and cameras for early fire detection.
“We’re committed to continuing to support CAL FIRE in making communities
safe for residents to return.”
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco,
with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the
nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/
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Copyright Business Wire 2015
Source: Business Wire
(September 16, 2015 - 7:29 PM EDT)
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