It’s becoming an annual fall tradition here in California. Wildfires ravaging communities and creating poor air quality for the rest of the state. @Chris started a conversation about this last fall and here we are one year later, again dealing with wildfires. These wildfires and PG&E power shutoffs are having an impact statewide and it’s unclear what will be done in the near term to make things better. I covered a Cal women’s basketball exhibition on Sunday at Stanford because PG&E shutoff power in Berkeley. The closer drive to Stanford was nice, but the air quality from the Kincade Fire was not. I started noticing the smoke was intensifying around 3 or 4 as I was finishing my story on campus. By the evening it was very smoky, and I thought to myself, here we go again.
Fortunately, my home located in Mountain View isn’t at risk of being burned down, but I feel for those whose homes are in at risk areas. Further, it’s not fun to breathe that smoky air. For me, it’s just a nuisance since I’m young and in good health, but for others, breathing that smoke can be quite hazardous and dangerous. Even for young guys like me, it’s not healthy.
The tragic irony in all of this is PG&E has been shutting off power to prevent fires from happening and yet it looks like they’re still starting fires. A PG&E transmission tower had a broken wire near the place where the Kincade Fire started, and PG&E also admits they may be responsible for the fires in Lafayette.
Just curious to get some thoughts on what can and should be done to prevent this from happening in future seasons. PG&E needs to wake up and take more responsibility for one. But I’m thinking other measures need to be taken as well.