August 6, 2020 – This week, on Friday, Aug. 7, PG&E will be conducting aerial patrols of power lines in Nevada and Yuba counties. Flights will begin around 8 a.m.

The flights are part of a company-wide Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) preparedness exercise. No power shutoffs will happen, but PG&E’s emergency response organization is conducting the readiness drill to help us be better prepared for actual events.

As part of the exercise PG&E crews are patrolling circuits that could be affected if a PSPS becomes necessary this fall. The patrols will be conducted by crews on the ground, and by using helicopters. Customers may notice increased activity between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday in the areas of Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Browns Valley and east of Marysville.

Given the continued and growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires, PG&E is expanding and enhancing its Community Wildfire Safety Program to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep customers and the communities safe. During an actual PSPS event, crews will inspect de-energized lines utilizing aircraft, vehicles and foot patrols to identify and repair damage before restoring power.

The sole purpose of a PSPS is to reduce the risk of major wildfires during severe weather.  With more than half of the area where PG&E customers live and work now at high risk for wildfires, PSPS is an important tool for keeping customers and communities safe. Turning off power can prevent wildfires, but also disrupts lives and can include its own risks, particularly for those who need power for medical equipment.

For more information about preparing for a PSPS event or any natural disaster, visit PG&E’s Safety Action Center.