PLACER COUNTY (CBS 13) — Recent wildfires have many people on edge, including one CBS13 viewer who was concerned about what she thought were power lines weaving through tree branches.
Carolyn Magliulo was worried about trees hanging off of lines along Highway 193, thinking they would present a huge fire danger.
“It’s pretty common, it’s in residential areas, in rural areas, that power lines go in and out of trees,” said Carolyn Magliulo.
The issue hits home for Magliulo.
“We had first-hand experience with the Santa Rosa fire. My sisters and I lost a home that belonged to my parents,” Magliulo added.
She noticed the disturbing sight a few days ago, but PG&E says Magliulo has nothing to worry about. A spokeswoman tells CBS13 “those are telecom lines that don’t carry voltage which is what is needed to have a spark.”
Power lines extend from the very top of a pole, and PG&E says it’s required to keep a minimum clearance of four feet. In high fire risk districts, that clearance jumps up to about 15 feet, to account for tree growth.
Vegetation grows at different rates, so how does PG&E know when it’s time to trim?
A spokeswoman tells CBS13: “our vegetation management team patrols every foot of our lines at a minimum once a year.”
We drove along Sierra College Boulevard and saw several power lines which appeared to have tree branches running through them. It turns out, it was an optical illusion. Once you get closer, you can see the distance between the power line and the branch.
CBS13 wanted to know when was the last time PG&E patrolled this area?
The spokeswoman says: “We patrolled the area in April of this year, and subsequent tree work was completed between May and this month.”
“That’s reassuring to know that PG&E is responsible and being responsible and there is a difference in those lines,” Magliulo said.
A watchdog wanting to protect Placer County. The wine country wildfires left a scar in Magliulo’s heart, one she says she’s doesn’t want anyone to ever have.
“We don’t wish it on anyone.”
PG&E says anyone with a concern can call them at 1(800) 743-5000 to report an issue. A crew will then come out to investigate.