California Firm To Bury 10,000 Miles Of Power Lines To Stop Wildfires
Sumaira FH 6 days ago Thu 22nd July 2021 | 08:50 AM
Los Angeles, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jul, 2021 ) :California's largest energy utility firm will bury 10,000 miles of power lines in a massive bid to prevent its equipment igniting more deadly wildfires, its CEO said Wednesday.
PG&E equipment was again blamed this week for one of the largest fires now blazing in California -- the Dixie Fire -- after a tree fell on a power conductor on the day the blaze began.
Announcing the measure, CEO Patti Poppe said the decision to bury the lines had been brought forward due to the "emotional toll" of the Dixie Fire, which is burning in the wildfire scars of the Paradise blaze.
"We are committing today to undertake one of the largest infrastructure projects in the history of our state," said Poppe at a press conference.
"We are committing to bury 10,000 miles of lines, starting in our highest fire threat districts and our highest risk areas. We start today." The project is expected to take a decade and cost tens of billions of Dollars. California utilities have buried power lines before, but never approaching this scale.
Uncleared land around high-voltage lines has been blamed for triggering many of the massive fires that have swept California in recent years, although a significant part of last year's record fire season was triggered by lightning strikes.
In recent years, utility firms have taken to organizing pre-emptive blackouts during hot, windy conditions to prevent the spread of wildfire.
It reached a deal with regulators to pay for wildfire-related costs, as well as forest firefighting measures and the upkeep of electrical equipment blamed for causing several fatal blazes.