The Dixie Fire raged for more than three months last year, burning over 1,300 structures and killing one person. In perhaps its most traumatic episode, the blaze tore through the town of Greenville one August evening — growing explosively overnight. By morning, it had decimated most of the historic Gold Rush town. “We lost Greenville tonight,” local Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) said as he held back tears in a video posted to Facebook on August 5th.
The scenes were reminiscent of the most destructive blaze the state has seen to date, the Camp Fire in 2018. Investigators pointed to PG&E power lines as the cause of that disaster as well. Camp Fire nearly wiped out the town of Paradise and nearby communities, killing 85 people and scorching more than 18,800 structures. In a case brought against it by Butte County, PG&E ultimately pleaded guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and another felony count of unlawfully causing a fire.
I really struggle to understand how, after causing the state’s 2 largest fires in history in a 3 year span, burying 10% of lines and rolling blackouts are an adequate plan to prevent it from happening again.