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PG&E Using Planes To Spot Wildfires


PG&E is taking to the sky to spot wildfires as the threat of a blaze increases with rising temperatures. Five planes will cover much of Northern California from Shasta County down to Santa Barbara.

A wet winter has generated a major grass crop. Add to that 102 million dead trees in California and that makes for a dangerous combination for wildfires.

Lynsey Paulo with PG&E says this week the company began daily aerial fire detection patrols over its service area.

 “Last year our planes spotted 142 fires so it really does make a difference when we can quickly spot those fires and fire agencies can quickly respond before they spread,” Paulo said. 

Paulo says the utility has a lot of infrastructure to protect and has patrols on the ground to look for fire hazards.

“73,000 miles of electrical power lines that we go and inspect to remove any dead or dying trees that could potentially fall into a line and potentially spark a fire,” Paulo added. 

 She says the aerial patrols will continue until the end of October.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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