“We are committing today to undertake one of the largest infrastructure projects in the history of our state,” PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said at a Wednesday news conference in Chico.
The effort will start in the “highest fire-threat districts” and highest fire-risk areas, Poppe said.
According to a news release from the company, PG&E maintains more than 25,000 miles of overhead distribution power lines — roughly 30% of its total distribution overhead system — in the state’s highest fire-threat areas.
“We will partner with the best and the brightest to find the best solutions to make this audacious goal come to life,” Poppe added. “Ten thousand miles of line is a trip halfway around the planet, 10,000 miles of line is a trip from Chico to L.A. 11 times and back.”
“This is an undertaking that no one else has pursued at this scale, but we know that we can do it here.”
The work is expected to take several years.
The company said other efforts it’s taking to prevent more wildfires including trimming more than a million trees and hardening “hundreds of miles of our lines… in preparation for future extreme climate conditions.”
“I have thousands of people today on our system, making the system safer than it was yesterday,” Poppe said. “Yet we are still dissatisfied, you deserve better.”