FRESNO — Over the next few days, residents of Madera, Mariposa and Fresno counties may see helicopters overhead as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) contract crews work to conduct accelerated wildfire safety inspections of substations.
“The helicopter inspections will complement and further enhance visual inspections by gathering information from the substations by capturing LiDAR data and photographs to determine if any repairs are needed,” said PG&E in a statement released on Friday.
“These inspections are part of the company’s wildfire safety efforts, implemented following the 2017 and 2018 wildfires as additional precautionary measures intended to further reduce wildfire risks.”
Locally, flights will occur over substations in the areas of Auberry, Dunlap, Fresno, Clovis, Oakhurst and Mariposa between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., depending on clear weather conditions.
Helicopters will be flying above the substations at an altitude from ground of no lower than 250 feet for 10 minutes or less and will follow all safety standards and Federal Aviation Administration regulations, said PG&E.
“PG&E inspection crews are conducting accelerated inspections of approximately 200 substations across the company’s service area. This work is being done as part of the company’s Community Wildfire Safety Program and is in addition to its routine inspections and maintenance programs. These helicopter inspections are taking place across PG&E’s service area in locations that have been designated as at elevated or extreme risk of wildfire based on the California Public Utilities Commission High Fire-Threat District Map.”
Community Wildfire Safety Program
PG&E’s comprehensive Community Wildfire Safety Program includes real-time monitoring and intelligence capabilities, new and enhanced safety measures and a critical hardening of its electric system to strengthen the safety and resiliency of the electric grid to further reduce future wildfire risks. More information can be found at pge.com/wildfiresafety. (Source: pge.com)