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SDG&E announces improved fire safety measures


Last updated 9/6/2018 at 9:25am

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Gas & Electric today announced improvements that the agency says will increase public safety and preparedness for wildfire emergencies.

SDG&E Chief Operating Officer Caroline Winn said that under a new contract, the Erickson Aircrane, touted as the country's largest water-dropping helitanker, will be available for dispatch by Cal Fire year-round. Previously, SDG&E only had access to the Aircrane from August to November, the height of fire season.

Additional improvements include new electric equipment that, according to the utility, will lessen the number of customers affected by power outages; the establishment of nine new community resource centers; and the addition of a dedicated wildfire safety web page on SDG&E's website.

"We are working hard to mitigate the risks associated with this 'new normal' of a year-round wildfire season and trying to protect the people and communities we serve,'' Winn said at a news conference where she was flanked by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham. "The new, enhanced preparedness efforts will complement SDG&E's decade-long comprehensive fire risk mitigation program designed to prevent the ignition of wildfires.''

In addition to the announced improvements, the utility plans to continue modernizing infrastructure in areas prone to wildfires and expanding prediction models and vegetation management systems to curb fires before they start.


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