EL DORADO COUNTY — Nearly a year after the Caldor Fire damaged the Grizzly Flats area, PG&E will underground nearly six miles of power lines to decrease the chance of ignition by 99%.
"PG&E's service area is incredibly diverse, and as we get out here doing the work, we will find obstacles or hazards that we need to overcome," said Megan McFarland, spokesperson for PG&E.
In an area damaged by the Caldor Fire, PG&E will put six miles of overhead lines underground. That is a portion of the 175 miles of undergrounding that McFarland said they are on track to complete this year. All of it, part of a project to underground 10,000 miles of powerlines, announced in 2021.
Is it too little too late? CBS13 asked McFarland about the work, in an area still rebuilding, she said the company's focus is safety and prevention: "We feel that undergrounding these 10,000 lines is the best long-term solution to make our community safer."
On average PG&E crews can complete anywhere between 100 and 1,000 feet of undergrounding in a day. The range relies on the conditions and geographic location, according to a crew member, who explained the work becomes more efficient as the projects progress.
Right now, it costs $3.75 million per mile, but that number is on track to decrease to $2.5 million per mile by 2026.
The undergrounding in the area burned by the Caldor Fire is on track to be completed in November, according to McFarland.
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