Crews working under the auspices of PG&E will return from the holiday break and resume work in Angwin and Deer Park on Monday, Jan. 6.
As part of the Community Wildfire Safety Program, PG&E is working to further upgrade and strengthen its electric system in the highest fire-risk areas, including Deer Park and Angwin, said PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras.
The system hardening project includes upgrading or replacing the existing electric distribution line with covered line to help reduce the likelihood of faults when trees, branches, animals or birds contact lines. Covered power lines can also help prevent potential sparking in the event wires come into contact with one another during high winds.
The project also includes replacing existing poles in high fire-threat areas with sturdier poles, installing new poles able to sustain greater line weight, anchors to secure the new poles and replacing services.
PG&E’s enhanced vegetation management work in Angwin includes:
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- Meeting state standards for minimum clearance around power lines
- Addressing overhanging limbs and branches
- Removing hazardous vegetation such as dead or dying trees that pose a potential risk to power lines,
- Trimming vegetation around lower-voltage secondary lines to prevent damage, when needed; and
- Evaluating the condition of trees that may need to be addressed if they are tall enough to strike the lines.
PG&E employees are doing some of the work, as well as contractors with ARB, Underground Construction and Wilson.
In addition, changing the installed poles and lines will also require vegetation work to ensure PG&E continues to meet the California Public Utilities Commission’s standards for safety clearances between trees and power lines. Vegetation Management work on these projects is being completed by Asplundh Tree Expert Company and ArborWorks Inc. Wright Tree Service is also performing Routine Distribution Compliance pruning and tree removal in the area.
The system hardening projects started this summer and will continue through early February. There will be additional system hardening projects in 2020, including one that will replace 1.17 miles of conductor (power line) in the St. Helena area on Spring Mountain Road and Langtry Road.
This work will make an even safer and more resilient grid given the rapidly changing environmental conditions in PG&E’s service area, Contreras said.