Berry Creek power pole concerns

People in Berry Creek say they're worried about the maintenance and clearing of their power poles and lines.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 6:21 PM

BERRY CREEK, Calif. - People in Berry Creek say they're worried about the maintenance and clearing of their power poles and lines.

"We're at the mercy of pg&e for our safety and our lives and our forest," Bethune said.

Denise Bethune has lived in Berry Creek for 11 years... is also Vice-Chairperson for the Berry Creek Fire Safe Council.

Over the years she's seen power poles and lines neglected in her community.

"These need to be cleaned at least 10 feet around all the way to the transformer we need to start working on that now and start working it out," she said.

Bethune told Action News Now she sees many power poles surrounded by brush and branches and lines going through and around trees.

This can be seen from areas on Oro Quincy Highway and down Bald Rock Road.

This is a power line right here and all this brush and debris should be cleared all the way to the ground," Bethune said.

Action News Now asked PG&E about the power pole and line clearance in Berry Creek.

The spokesperson said the power pole has a joint pole agreement with the communication line - being AT&T or Xfinity.

When looking at a power pole the top thin lines are the power lines, and the thick black lines below it are the communication lines.

PG&E says the communication lines are low voltage and insulated - so they don't meet the CPUC standard for clearance, like the power lines do.

PG&E says clearing the communication lines are the responsibility of the communication source.

"Whether its AT&T's fault or its PG&E's fault we need to stop playing the blame game and get it done to figure it out do something about it before it's too late," Bethune said.

Bethune reached out to Senator Nielsen and sent him pictures of areas of concern on her property she told Action News Now that the senator then sent those pictures to PG&E to try to get the situation moving.

PG&E is sending a crew to Berry Creek to inspect specific power lines and Action News Now is working to get a response from AT&T, but have not heard back yet.

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Lightning-caused fires will be a concern over the next few days as thunderstorms are in the forecast. We stay warm to begin next week but cool into the 70s by Wednesday.
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