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PG&E Aims to Curb Wildfire Risk by Burying Many Power Lines

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

PG&E’s announcement came days after a preliminary report to state regulators said that its equipment might have caused the Dixie Fire, one of the state’s largest blazes, which has burned at least 85,000 acres. The fire is spreading in Butte County, where the utility’s equipment caused a fire that destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people in 2018. “We need you to know that we are working night and day to solve this incredible problem,” said Patricia K. Poppe, chief executive of PG&E Corporation, the utility’s parent. This year the company is putting 70 miles of lines underground, so increasing the work to 1,000 miles a year would be a leap. “That’s the moonshot,” Ms. Poppe said on a call with reporters. “It should be a shocking number because it’s a big goal.”

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