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