Camp Fire: PG&E found bullet holes in Butte County power pole, fallen hook, other damage at transmission tower
PG&E has found its equipment in Butte County, scene of a disastrous and deadly wildfire, suffered an array of damage at the outset of the inferno, including bullet holes, a fallen hook and a damaged tower arm, the embattled utility stated in a letter Tuesday night to state regulators.
The cause of the lethal blaze in Butte County, which broke out Nov. 8 and effectively destroyed the town of Paradise, is still under investigation by state fire experts.
The probe’s focus includes PG&E’s Caribou-Palermo electrical transmission line and a power pole that’s part of the company’s Big Bend circuit, both in Butte County.
A power outage was reported on Nov. 8 at 6:15 a.m. in the service area of the Caribou-Palermo line and a separate electricity outage was reported the same day at 6:45 a.m. in the Big Bend service area, according to the letter submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission by Meredith Allen, a PG&E regulatory executive.
“On Nov. 9, a PG&E employee on patrol arrived at the location of the pole with Line Recloser 1704 on the Big Bend 1101 Circuit and observed that the pole and other equipment was on the ground with bullets and bullet holes at the break point of the pole and on the equipment,” Allen wrote to the PUC.
Separately, crews deployed by PG&E detected multiple instances of damage and failure — including indications of worn-out equipment — on a portion of the Caribou-Palermo transmission line during a patrol on Nov. 14.
“PG&E observed a broken C-hook attached to the separated suspension insulator that had connected the 2 suspension insulator to a tower arm, along with wear at the connection point,” the utility stated in its letter to the PUC.
The broken hook wasn’t the only damage detected on the Caribou-Palermo towers.
“PG&E observed a flash mark on Tower :27/222 …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Business