PG & E is investigating to launch a deadly wildfire-again

Zog burned a house along Platina Road in Italy on September 27, 2020. (Photo: Allison Dinner, Getty Images)

PG & E, a utility that powers 16 million people in northern and central California, is being investigated for causing a fatal fire. again.

The flame in question is the Zogg Fire, which killed four people and destroyed about 200 structures in Northern California. The wildfire broke out on September 27, during Diablo’s strong winds, dry air and triple-digit temperatures. Since then, it has been 56,338 acres of charred and still burning.

At a filing on Friday, PG & E owned some of its utility equipment near where the Zogg Fire began in Shasta County, as part of an investigation into how the fire began. Was announced.

Hot, dry, windy, and conditions that fuel the climate crisis make California’s forests much more flammable, but electrical infrastructure, such as power line downs, can provide sparks to illuminate them. .. To mitigate this risk, utilities are increasingly looking to turn off power lines in areas of high risk of fire. In the last week of September, PG & E cut power for tens of thousands of inhabitants, but did not include equipment in the South Shasta County area where Zogg Fire ignited.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it happened before. The fall of the PG & E wire caused at least 1,500 fires in six years, some of which were fatal. A 2015 Butte fire broke out in Amador County. This happened when a power line hit a tree and killed two people. A fire broke out in the wine country in 2017, engulfing PG & E equipment in multiple deadly flames. Perhaps the most notorious is the 2018 deadly campfire, which destroyed the city of Paradise, killing 85 people and making it the most deadly corporate crime in history. PG & E declared bankruptcy after the fire after facing billions of damages. In total, eight of California’s 20 most devastating wildfires were ignited by electrical infrastructure. (Of the remaining 12 fires, 4 are still under investigation and may be added to the total illuminated by power lines.)

There are several ways utilities can make the grid fireproof, such as filling power lines or using more locally controlled energy hubs or battery storage. But so far, PG & E hasn’t done a great job of making the necessary changes. In 2018, journalists at the local station KTVU discovered that PG & E used funds reserved for the fire resistance of the grid for other purposes, such as corporate bonuses. In July, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill allowing California to put the company under public control if it didn’t put together its actions.

This year’s relentless and record-breaking fire season reveals that changes in power grid functionality are more urgent than ever.California will face again this week Fire weather, Therefore, more flames can occur. As a precautionary measure, PG & E has announced that it may have to be shut down for up to 3 days. However, power outages are inconvenient and even dangerous because they can limit people’s access to the food, medical equipment, and technology needed to get the latest information on fires. It is clear that a larger shift is needed.

PG & E is investigating to launch a deadly wildfire-again

Source link PG & E is investigating to launch a deadly wildfire-again

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