PG&E Devices under scrutiny for role in Wine Country fires

Last Updated March 12, 2020

PG&E Devices under scrutiny

State legislators and investigators are reviewing evidence regarding wildfires in Northern California, according to a new article by the San Francisco Chronicle. In particular they are reviewing evidence surrounding equipment including PG&E reclosers, equipment used to send pulses of electricity through power lines that are malfunctioning.

State Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo said “A recloser, by its nature and how it functions, can easily start fires if they’re not deactivated. When we see PG&E only turned off three reclosers in the entire area of Sonoma and Napa counties, it leads one to believe that many weren’t deactivated, and that could have presented a potentially dangerous situation.”

A downed power line with a recloser could spark on the ground, resulting in the start of a fire. Fires in Northern California resulted in the loss of hundreds of structures and dozens of lives.

See all the latest news and updates on Northern California Wildfires.

Read about wildfire recovery, or resources to help those affected.