PG&E doing PSPS practice helicopter inspection flights over Humboldt

A Bell 407 helicopter of the type being used by PG&E. Via Bellflight

PG&E

Today, June 2, PG&E conducted pre-inspection helicopter flights in Humboldt County to improve its Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program events for our customers and communities. Flights will continue tomorrow, June 3 as well.

PG&E is flying a Bell 407 helicopter along electric distribution lines located along the North Coast. The pre-PSPS flights are designed to gather information that helps PG&E understand the amount of time it will take to safely complete the patrol. In addition to improving overall safety, the pre-inspections help crews execute future patrols more efficiently and provide key information to better determine timing for restoring electric service to customers.

The helicopters will fly low, roughly 100 feet, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the following areas:

  • Alderpoint, Blocksburg, Fort Seward and Garberville (to Bell Springs Road and east on Stanley Creek Road).
  • Hoopa Valley up to Somes Bar, Tulley Creek and south to Willow Creek down to Redwood Valley.
  • Willow Creek and the surrounding area east to Lord Ellis Summit, east to Del Loma, including South Fork Mountain.

TO BE CLEAR, THIS IS NOT A PSPS AND POWER WILL NOT BE INTERRUPTED DURING THE FLIGHTS.

We do encourage all of our customers to be prepared for the possibility of actual PSPS events in the future. High winds can cause tree branches and debris to contact energized electric lines, damage our equipment and cause a wildfire. As a result, we may need to turn off power during severe weather conditions for public safety.  The sole focus of a PSPS is to keep our customers safe.

We are working year-round and nonstop to make our system safer and more resilient, and improve PSPS events for our customers and communities. California continues to experience an increase in wildfire risk and a longer wildfire season.  PSPS continues to be a necessary tool as a last resort.

During an actual PSPS event, crews will inspect de-energized lines utilizing aircraft, vehicles and foot patrols to identify and repair damage before restoring power.

Thank you for your patience. For questions, please call 1-800-PGE-5000 or visit www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.







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