While no one knows for sure whether PG&E caused the devastating wildfires in Sonoma and Napa Counties, all eyes are on this troubled and controversial utility company.
Unfortunately, PG&E has a history of failing to properly maintain the vegetation around its power lines, and, in several cases, that negligence has led to severe and destructive fires.
The attorneys at Adams Fietz believe that Cal Fire and the California Public Utilities Commission are entirely justified in launching their formal investigations into whether PG&E caused the fires that have ravaged our community.
In our opinion, PG&E has made some pretty unwise decisions recently.
For one thing, a PG&E spokesperson proclaimed that, on the night the fires began, “hurricane strength winds” had knocked down some of its power lines, possibly causing the spark that started the fire.
But a quick consultation of the local wind charts show that the winds were well below “hurricane strength.” In fact, the winds were well within the limits for which PG&E’s equipment must legally be rated.
We also question PG&E’s recent pattern of spending on vegetation management around its potentially dangerous power lines and transformers. Vegetation management is a term for the trimming of trees and plants that abut power stations that may pose fire hazards.
According to a report by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E spent $198.7 million on vegetation management in 2016.
So far in 2017, though, PG&E has spent only $150.4 million on vegetation management. And that’s after poorly maintained vegetation was proven to be the cause of several other PG&E-related fires.
Indeed, the CPUC has granted a steady stream of money to PG&E for vegetation management, but, in our opinion, PG&E seems to be using this money unwisely – or not using it at all.
If and when PG&E is shown to be the cause of the recent wildfires, you can rest assured that Adams Fietz will be right there on the front lines, fighting for justice and fair compensation on behalf of our friends and neighbors.
Sonoma County is our home, too. We work here. We live here. Our kids go to school here.
The attorneys at Adams Fietz will do everything we can to help Sonoma County restore and rebuild.
We are Sonoma County strong.