PG&E Working To Harden Power Lines In Shasta County To Better Protect Against Wildfire

PG&E says it’s working to make it’s network more resilient in Shasta County and less likely to start more catastrophic wildfires. Calling it “system hardening”, the utility is upgrading and strengthening its electric system in communities with the highest risk of wildfires. Hardening includes replacing existing poles and power lines with stronger poles, installing wider cross-arms to increase the separation of lines, and replacing uncovered power lines with covered lines to protect against contact with trees, birds and squirrels. PG&E says they completed a 35 mile hardening project in the Shingletown area in 2020. Two hardening projects started last year on both sides of Deschutes Road south of Palo Cedro and near Iron Mountain Road in Keswick. This year a project will start along Boyle Road between Deschutes and Old Alturas. Those three projects will total 44 miles of power lines. One-third of PG&E lines are in high fire threat areas, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E equipment is blamed for many devastating fires, including the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, the massive Dixie Fire and the Zogg Fire in the Igo area.