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Glass Fire: Many Evacuees Still Without Power; Crews Brought In To Help Restore Electricity

NAPA COUNTY (KPIX 5) – With the Glass Fire nearly 75 percent contained as of Friday, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is assembling crews to begin the enormous task of restoring power.

On a nine-acre site that feels like a small military base, electrical construction crews from all across the West Coast are assembling just north of Saint Helena.

PG&E Base Camp Boss Bob Kirk said, "At Electric Base Camp, what we want to do is supply all materials, all type of equipment that is going to be used for restoration purposes on rebuilding our lines."

Glass Fire PG&E Power Restoration
Utility crews restoring power to areas affected by the Glass Fire in Napa County on October 9, 2020. (CBS)

More than 1,400 power poles are being replaced. Utility spokesperson Deanna Contreras said not all poles are regular replacement poles.

"What we're doing in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, the high fire threat areas, is we're replacing them with thicker, stronger, more resilient poles covered in fiberglass," Contreras said.

PG&E said the larger fiberglass wrapped poles are part of their "hardening" efforts to beef up the system against future fires.

But when will the power be back on?

Jim Shaffer lives in nearby Deer Park. "It's been off the whole time since Sunday, not this last Sunday but the Sunday before," Shaffer told KPIX 5.

Shaffer, who is using a small generator for now, said he understands the magnitude of rebuilding the system. He is grateful.

"Look, my house is still standing. What am I worried about being out of power for a while? What about the people who lost their places, you know?" Shaffer said. "So yeah, you have to think about you have, that you're fortunate…and not what you don't have."

PG&E is expecting it will take one to two more weeks to fully restore power to affected areas.

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