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Helicopters patrolling for trees that could pose wildfire risk 

helicopter copyPG&E conducts patrols along transmission lines in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties

– As part of its ongoing efforts to keep customers safe by reducing wildfire risk, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is conducting aerial patrols in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Scheduled helicopter patrols are part of the company’s Vegetation Management Program to detect dead or dying trees.

The operations started on Thursday, and patrols will occur along several electric transmission lines located in the following areas:

• Morro Bay, Templeton, Cayucos, Atascadero, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo, Oceano, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Sisquoc, and Santa Maria, including rural areas of eastern San Luis Obispo County.

“Helicopter patrols allow our crews to identify hazard trees that could pose a safety risk, just one of the many ways PG&E is working to manage trees and other vegetation located near powerlines,” said Chris Long, vegetation program manager for the Los Padres region, which includes San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

Depending on the weather conditions, foresters will fly to and from Paso Robles Municipal Airport between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Flights are expected to conclude by the end of the month; however, additional flights may be needed in November.

Helicopters may reach higher elevations in areas where livestock are present. If determined necessary by a spotter from the helicopters, PG&E will send ground crews to conduct further inspections.

PG&E is using helicopters to inspect the trees along transmission lines within High Fire-Threat Districts, as outlined by the California Public Utilities Commission, across Northern and Central California through the end of the year.


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