Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has installed more than 600 weather stations and 130 high-definition cameras across its service area – including five weather stations in Glenn County.
PG&E installed the equipment as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program, according to a press release. The utility is planning to continue to expand these networks in high fire-threat areas to enhance weather forecasting and modeling and improve the company’s ability to predict and respond to extreme wildfire danger.
“The station observations allow our meteorologists to analyze critical fire weather elements like extreme wind, temperature and low humidity,” said Ashley Helmetag, a PG&E senior meteorologist. “The stations and cameras are part of our real-time situational awareness tools that assist us as we make decisions on Public Safety Power Shutoffs to protect our communities.”
In the North State, PG&E has installed 33 weather stations in Butte County, eight in Colusa County, five in Glenn County, four in Lassen County, nine in Plumas County, 41 in Shasta County, 26 in Tehama County, four in Trinity County and eight in Yuba County. The utility has installed 10 high-definition cameras in Butte County, four in Lassen County, four in Plumas County, eight in Shasta County, one in Sutter County, three in Tehama County, two in Trinity County and five in Yuba County.
According to the press release, the data is also critical information for PG&E’s analysts in the Wildfire Safety Operations Center, the “hub” from where the company monitors threats across its service territory and coordinates with first responders and public safety officials to respond to emergency threats.
By 2022, PG&E plans to have installed 1,300 weather stations and 600 HD cameras – a density of one weather station roughly every 20 circuit-miles and video coverage of roughly 90 percent within the highest fire-risk areas.