Environment & Science

SoCal Edison is pushing to cut the fire risk from its power lines

California Edison Director of Grid Resiliency Bill Chiu displays samples of the covered power lines that will be replacing hundreds of miles of bare power lines in high fire risk areas.
California Edison Director of Grid Resiliency Bill Chiu displays samples of the covered power lines that will be replacing hundreds of miles of bare power lines in high fire risk areas.
Kyle Grillot for LAist

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Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the Woolsey fire, but one of the things they're looking at is a brief outage Nov. 8 at a Southern California Edison substation in Ventura County that occurred two minutes before the fire was reported nearby.

Electric utilities’ equipment starts about 10 percent of all wildland fires in California but they can be responsible for up to one-half the acres burned because they often occur during the worst conditions -- high winds, low humidity and high temperatures.

That’s got some questioning whether the big utilities have done enough to reduce the risk.

Read more on LAist.com: SoCal Edison Is Spending Millions To Make Sure Its Power Poles Are Safe From Birthday Balloons

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability, a multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, KJZZ, KPCC, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal.