SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be doing aerial patrol across San Luis Obispo County and portions of northern Santa Barbara County through the end of October looking for trees that could pose a wildfire risk.
The helicopter patrols are part of the electric company's Vegetation Management Program to detect dead or dying trees, according to PG&E officials.
“Helicopter patrols allow our crews to identify hazard trees that could pose a safety risk, just one of the many ways PG&E is working to manage trees and other vegetation located near powerlines,” said Chris Long, Vegetation Program Manager for the Los Padres region, which includes San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.
The patrols began on Thursday along multiple electric transmission lines in Morro Bay, Templeton, Cayucos, Atascadero, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo, Oceano, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Sisquoc and Santa Maria.
Crews will fly to and from Paso Robles Municipal Airport between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. through the end of October depending on weather conditions, and some additional flights may be needed in November, according to PG&E.
PG&E may send ground crews to conduct further inspections if a spotter from the helicopters notices something that may need an inspection.