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September 20, 2020
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PG&E to conduct inspections by helicopter in Sonoma County

July 19, 2019

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be inspecting power lines in Sonoma County, using helicopters equipped with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The inspections are part of PG&E’s expanded and enhanced vegetation management work, implemented following the 2017 and 2018 wildfires as one of many additional precautionary measures intended to further reduce wildfire risk.

In addition to ground inspections, the LiDAR helicopter inspections will help gather data to allow PG&E to identify hazardous trees that have the potential to fall into the lines. These inspections will take place across the approximately 25,200 miles of distribution lines in locations that have been designated as at elevated or extreme risk of wildfire based on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District Map. The data gathered will supplement PG&E’s ground inspections by capturing imagery that can be analyzed to take measurements, reveal patterns and identify any potential risks.

Helicopters will be flying along the power lines at an altitude of about 300 to 500 feet. PG&E will be making automated phone calls to notify residents ahead of the scheduled helicopter flight in their community. 

For more information on the helicopter inspections, residents can visit pge.com/enhancedveg or email PG&E at wildfiresafety@pge.com with questions about this work.

Community wildfire safety program

PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program involves increasing real-time monitoring and intelligence capabilities, putting in place new and enhanced safety measures, and strengthening the resiliency of the electric grid to further reduce wildfire threats. More information can be found at pge.com/wildfiresafety.