Home / Businesswire / PG&E Publicly Releases Supplemental Report on Electric Incidents Near the Camp Fire

PG&E Publicly Releases Supplemental Report on Electric Incidents Near the Camp Fire

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today submitted its supplemental
report to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) about two
incidents on its electric system near the Camp Fire. PG&E is also
releasing the report
publicly.

The company reiterated, “The loss of life, homes and businesses in the
Camp Fire is truly devastating. Our focus continues to be on assessing
our infrastructure to further enhance safety, restoring electric and gas
service where possible, and helping customers begin to recover and
rebuild. Throughout our service area, we are committed to doing
everything we can to further reduce the risk of wildfire.”

20-Day Supplemental Report

PG&E submitted two Electric Incident Reports (EIR) to the CPUC; one on Nov.
8
and one on Nov.
16
. Today, PG&E publicly released a letter to the CPUC supplementing
those reports. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The previous preliminary incident reports noted outages on the
Caribou-Palermo 115kV transmission line at 6:15 a.m. and the Big Bend
1101 12kV at 6:45 a.m. on Nov. 8. On Nov. 8, PG&E was able to conduct an
aerial patrol of the Caribou-Palermo site and observed damage on the
line at a tower. As noted in today’s letter to the CPUC, a suspension
insulator supporting a transposition jumper had separated from an arm on
the tower. Once PG&E could access the site on the ground, it found a
broken C-hook attached to the separated suspension insulator that had
connected the suspension insulator to a tower arm. PG&E also observed a
flash mark on the tower.

With regard to the Big Bend 1101 distribution circuit, PG&E conducted a
patrol on Nov. 9. and observed a pole and other equipment on the ground
with bullets and bullet holes at the break point of the pole and on the
equipment. On Nov. 12, another PG&E patrol observed wires down and
damaged and downed poles. PG&E also found several snapped trees, with
some on top of the downed wires.

Beginning on November 13, 2018, CAL FIRE requested that PG&E assist it
in collecting evidence related to the Big Bend outage.

These incidents remain under investigation, and this information is
preliminary. The causes may not be fully understood until additional
information is available, including information that can only be
obtained through examination and testing of the equipment retained by
CAL FIRE. PG&E is cooperating with CAL FIRE.

Expanding and Accelerating Wildfire Safety Measures

Given the continued and growing threat of wildfire, PG&E is evolving and
expanding its Community Wildfire Safety Program. Following last
year’s wildfires, PG&E launched the program in March as an additional
precautionary measure to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep its
customers and the communities it serves safe. Ongoing and expanded
actions include:

Real-Time Monitoring and Intelligence

  • Coordinating prevention and response efforts by monitoring wildfire
    risk in real-time from its Wildfire Safety Operations Center.
  • Expanding its network of weather stations to enhance weather
    forecasting and modeling. By 2022, PG&E will add 1,300 new weather
    stations in high fire-risk areas.
  • Installing nearly 600 new high-definition cameras in high fire-threat
    areas, increasing coverage across these areas to more than 90 percent.

New and Enhanced Safety Measures

  • Further enhancing vegetation management efforts with an increased
    focus on vegetation that poses a higher potential for wildfire risk,
    such as overhanging branches and limbs directly above and around power
    lines, and tree species at an increased risk of falling into power
    lines, as well as dead and dying trees.
  • Conducting accelerated safety inspections of over 5,500 miles of
    transmission lines, including approximately 50,000 structures in high
    fire-threat areas, in addition to routine inspections and maintenance.
    This includes ground or climbing inspections, as well as aerial
    imagery captured by drones and in some cases, helicopter, to further
    complement and enhance visual inspections.
  • Taking action right away to address any immediate risk to public
    safety found during accelerated inspections. Similar inspections of
    distribution lines in high fire-threat areas are planned to begin in
    early 2019.
  • Disabling of automatic reclosing of circuit breakers and reclosers in
    high fire-risk areas during wildfire season.
  • Proactively turning off electric power for safety, only as a last
    resort, when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted, and
    helping customers prepare by providing early warning notification when
    and where possible.

Longer-term Electric System Hardening

  • Installing stronger and more resilient poles and covered power lines
    across 7,000 miles of highest fire-risk areas over the course of the
    next ten years, reducing the likelihood of damage from debris, animals
    and birds.
  • Replacing equipment to further reduce risk to its system and tailoring
    upgrades based on terrain and weather conditions using more granular
    analysis of fire-prone regions.
  • Piloting new resilience zones to provide electricity to community
    resources and help reduce the potential impact of a Public Safety
    Power Shutoff event.

Wildfire Risk is Growing

California faces an ever-increasing threat from catastrophic wildfires,
extreme weather and higher temperatures. Recent state and federal
climate assessments warn the threat is only growing. California’s Fourth
Climate Change Assessment found the average area burned statewide would
increase 77 percent if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The
Assessment also said prolonged drought and higher temperatures will
triple the frequency of wildfires.

Multiple factors contribute to wildfire risk across PG&E’s service area.
These include vast tree mortality following a historic five-year
drought. Fire season is now extended due to prolonged periods of high
temperatures, extreme dryness, tinder-dry grass and record-high winds
increasing the number of wildfires and making them more dangerous. More
than half of PG&E’s service area is in extreme or high fire-risk areas
as designated by the CPUC’s Fire-Threat Map.

More information on the Community Wildfire Safety Program is available
at www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements that are not
historical facts, including statements about the beliefs, expectations,
estimates, future plans and strategies of PG&E and PG&E Corporation.
These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions,
which management believes are reasonable, and on information currently
available to management, but are necessarily subject to various risks
and uncertainties. In addition to the risk that these assumptions prove
to be inaccurate, factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements
include the timing and outcome of the investigations into the Camp Fire
and other factors disclosed in PG&E and PG&E Corporation’s and the
Utility’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
2017, their most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter
ended September 30, 2018, and their subsequent reports filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. PG&E and PG&E Corporation undertake
no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether due to new information, future events or otherwise.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation
(NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric energy companies 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/
and pge.com/news.

Contacts

Media Relations
415-973-5930