(Reuters) – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said on Wednesday that they buried 10,000 miles of power lines in high-risk fire zones to prevent forest fires as part of a security initiative announced in California's Butte County that would take more than a year to complete.
The tool maintains more than 25,000 miles of overhead lines in the highest fire risk zones, or more than 30% of its total distribution system, according to PG&E.
The company came out of bankruptcy last year. It had sought protection from creditors after fires triggered by the equipment in 2017 and 2018 drove the tool's potential debt to tens of billions of dollars.
By 2020, California was hit by its most damaging wildfire season in terms of burned area. In May, California authorities documented more than 1
Burying power lines or underground reduces the need for public safety shutdowns, which is a last resort. in dry, windy conditions to reduce the risk of trees touching live power lines and triggering a wildfire.
PG&E serves more than 16 million people over 70,000 square miles in northern and central California.