October 2017 Wildfires

Beginning on October 8, 2017, several major wildfires spread through Napa, Sonoma, Butte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte Counties, as well as in the areas surrounding Grass Valley and Yuba City.


CAL FIRE is the first responder and determines the sources of ignition of the fires and the way that the fires spread. The CPUC works closely with CAL FIRE, which determines the sources of ignition of the fires and the way that the fires spread. The CPUC's Safety and Enforcement Division conducts investigations to assess the compliance of electric and communication facilities with applicable rules and regulations in fire impacted areas. Investigation topics include, but are not limited to, maintenance of facilities, vegetation management, and emergency preparedness and response. The fires under CPUC staff investigation are in PG&E's service territory: Cherokee Fire (Butte County); Point Fire (Calaveras County); Adobe, Norrbom, Nuns, Pythian-Oakmond, Pocket, and Youngs Fires (Sonoma County); Sulphur Fire (Lake County); Lobo Fire (Nevada County); La Porte Fire (Butte County); and Patrick and Atlas Fires (Napa County).


On this webpage you will find CPUC information related to the fires.

●     SED 2017 Northern California Fire Reports  Each of the redactions either was made by CAL FIRE or proposed by PG&E.  The redactions proposed by PG&E are under review.

●     May 25, 2018: CPUC Continues Public Safety Actions As Climate Increases Risk of Wildfires  

        ●      CAL FIRE Information

●      PG&E's application for CPUC approval to record in a special account PG&E's costs related to wildfires in its service area beginning with the Butte Fire in 2015. PG&E is not seeking CPUC approval to recover any costs in this application--only to track costs in a memorandum account. If PG&E seeks CPUC approval to recover costs at a later date, this account would be used to determine how much PG&E spent related to wildfires. (A.17-07-011)

●      Nov. 9, 2017: CPUC Orders Utilities To Implement Protections To Consumer Impacted By Wildfires

          ●      Fact Sheet

●      Nov. 9, 2017: Report of Communication Carriers' Impact and Mitigations from October 2017 Fires

●      Nov. 8, 2017: Proposal Issued on New Fire-Safety Regulations

●      Nov. 6, 2017: PG&E Letter to CPUC

●      PG&E Fire Incident Reports

●      Oct. 9-27, 2017: Status updates from PG&E to the CPUC

●      Oct. 26, 2017: Update on the Status of Fire-Related Activities from CPUC Voting Meeting

●      Oct. 25, 2017: CPUC Updated Order to PG&E and Communication Companies to Preserve Evidence 

            ●      Oct. 30, 2017: CPUC Order Update 

●      Oct. 25, 2017: TURN Letter to CPUC

            ●     Oct. 25, 2017: CPUC Reply to TURN

●       Oct 17, 2017: Data Request and Response from PG&E re: de-energizing

●       CPUC letter to PG&E reminding of the obligation to preserve evidence 

              ●     PG&E Response 

●       CPUC letter to communication companies reminding of the obligation to preserve evidence

●       Memorandum of Understanding between the CPUC and CAL FIRE that deals with how the agencies coordinate on response to fires and investigations

●       Memorandum of Understanding between the CPUC and Cal OES that deals with coordinating emergency planning, response recovery and mitigation functions between agencies.

●       Electric and Fire Related Fines.

●       Spending on Vegetation Management approved in recent PG&E General Rate Cases (see page 1)

●       Direction to PG&E to Take Increased Efforts to Reduce Fire Risk due to Drought Emergency (see page 2)


Regulations and Information  

●       July 12, 2018: CPUC Strengthens Utility Public Notice Requirements for De-Energizing in Emergencies

●       March 22, 2018: CPUC To Evaluate Adoption Of Post-Disaster Consumer Protection Measures

●       2014-2016 Fire Incident Data Collection

●       Fire-Threat Maps and Fire-Safety Regulations Proceedings

●       General Order 95 contains rules for the design, construction, maintenance, inspection, repair, and replacement of overhead utility facilities, including electric utility facilities, communication facilities, and cable television facilities. General Order 95, Rule 37, Table 1 addresses the above ground clearances of conductors, and the clearances between conductors and other structures/vegetation.

●       Public Utilities Code 316 and General Order 95, Rule 19 govern the preservation of evidence for investigation in accordance with Public Utilities Code.

●       Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider Specified Amendments to Rule 18 of General Order 95 (R.16-02-001)

Utility Resources

●       AT&T Wildfire Website  

●       PG&E Wildfire Website  

●       Verizon Wildfire Website


 Prior Electric Safety Reports

●       PG&E Audits - Counties Impacted by Fires (10 years)

●       General Order 165 Reports: Utility Annual Electric Distribution Inspection Reports

●       Electric and Communication Facilities Audit Reports

●       Safety and Enforcement Division 2017 Annual Report (see page 33 for Electric Safety and Reliability information)


Prior Fire and Utility Pole News

●       June 29, 2017: CPUC to Examine Utility Pole Safety and Competition, Considers Creation of Pole Database  

●       April 25, 2017: CPUC Issues Staff Citations Totaling $8.3 Million to PG&E For Butte Fire  

●       Dec. 5, 2017: CPUC to Hold Public Hearings on SDG&E's Wildfire Cost Recovery Request  

●       May 26, 2016: CPUC Fire Map Depicts Areas of Elevated Hazards in State; First Step in Creation of Tools to Help Manage Resources  

●       March 8, 2016: CPUC Hosts En Banc on Utility Pole Safety  

●       Sept. 19, 2013: CPUC Enhances Safety, Issues $51.5 Million in Penalties and Remediation Against SCE and NextG for Malibu Canyon Fire  

●       May 20, 2013: CPUC Staff Enter Settlement Agreement Of $37 Million With Southern California Edison Over 2007  

●       Sept. 13, 2012: CPUC Approves $12 Million Settlement with Telecommunications Companies Over 2007 Malibu Fire  

●       Jan. 12, 2012: CPUC Acts to Reduce Fire Hazards Associated With Overhead Power Lines and Communication Facilities  

●       April 22, 2010: CPUC Approves Witch, Rice, and Guejito Fire Settlements  

●       Nov. 12, 2008: CPUC to Investigate 2007 Fires to Determine Whether Utility Companies Violated Safety Regulations

 CPUC Resources

●       The CPUC's Consumer Affairs Branch is available to assist consumers with billing and service questions and complaints involving their regulated utility providers. You may contact the Consumer Affairs Branch at (800) 649-7570 (M-F, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) or to submit a complaint, please visit our utility complaints page

●      The CPUC's Public Advisor's Office provides procedural information to individuals and groups who want to participate in formal proceedings at the CPUC. In addition, the Public Advisor's Office provides programs and services to educate and assist the public, including special accommodations and interpreter services. You can contact the Public Advisor's Office at (866) 849-8390 or public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov. 


●      Jan. 31, 2018: Fire Safety and Utility Infrastructure En Banc



Read about the December 2017 Southern California wildfires

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