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PG&E to use helicopters and special sensors to evaluate powerlines

KRCR Chico-Redding logo KRCR Chico-Redding 8/17/2022 Christopher West, Blake Mayfield
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PG&E is going to be conducting aerial inspections of their power lines in Shasta, Trinity and Tehama Counties over the next two weeks. 

They will be employing helicopters utilizing special sensors, flying low along electric distribution lines in order to help identify and prevent wildfire risks. Helicopters are equipped with Light Detection and Ranging (LDAR) sensors and Autonomous Image Capturing (AIC) to evaluate PG&E powerlines and equipment.

Flights will be happening this week and next week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

The helicopters will be flying as low as 350 feet above the ground and may make several passes in order to collect the appropriate information. 

PG&E says they will also use this opportunity to do some vegetation management and system hardening in order to further strengthen and fortify grid safety and reliability.

The ongoing program is designed to allow PG&E to make sure electric equipment is working properly. PG&E is prioritizing work in the highest wildfire risk areas. They say lines in these areas will be inspected more frequently for that reason while areas with a lower risk will be inspected at least every five years.

PG&E also has flights scheduled for the Manton and Shingletown areas this week and over the Cassel and Hat Creek areas next week.

For more information about PG&E and the steps they're taking to improve the safety of their lines, you can check out their safety inspections program website

If you have questions or concerns about their safety work you can call 1-877-295-4949 or email them at wildfiresafety@pge.com. PG&E's communications number can also be reached at 530-896-4290. 

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