PG&E crews will work throughout the weekend and beyond to continue restoring power for customers impacted by two Northern California wildfires.
“Our employees are working safely and as quickly as possible to help our communities recover,” said Barry Anderson, PG&E vice president of emergency preparedness and operations.
Some 1,300 of the utility’s employees have been brought in to help in areas affected by the Valley and Butte fires. As of Friday afternoon, about 7,000 customers remained without power due to wildfire-related damage.
Valley Fire damaged a majority of the city’s electrical infrastructure
The fires caused significant damage to PG&E’s electrical equipment. Crews are working across challenging terrain to assess damage and begin rebuilding PG&E equipment. Additional crews were being dispatched as PG&E gains access to more fire-damaged areas.
At the Valley Fire in Lake County, PG&E has identified about 1,400 transmission and distribution pole locations that require repair. Crews have replaced 500 poles and 169 transformers.
Crews at the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties have identified 1,055 locations where poles, power lines, cross arms and other equipment will need to be replaced, as well as 750 power poles.
PG&E is working closely with Cal Fire and providing outreach to communities and local agencies providing shelters for displaced residents. Earlier this week, PG&E donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross.
More than 500 homes destroyed.
In addition to repairs, PG&E has provided exportable power trucks that allow residents to charge cell phones and personal devices. And at the Burson Full Gospel Church, which opened its doors to evacuees, PG&E stepped in when the Calaveras County church’s electricity failed due to overuse. PG&E provided a generator to power the church’s outdoor lighting and refrigeration.
“PG&E has a fabulous staff, so professional and caring, they get in and help,” said Staci Johnson, a church member who also is executive director of the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce.