As of Thursday night, there were 285 customers out of power either due to the Railroad Fire, or from power lines that have been de-energized by Pacific Gas & Electric Company to protect firefighters.
All 285 of those customers are in the mandatory evacuation areas.
According to spokesman Denny Boyles, PG&E has assessed the damage to the electrical system and has been able to identify the equipment that will require replacement. PG&E was able to make its assessments in areas where the Forest Service has been able to provide safe access.
“We’ve inspected 230 poles and identified 23 poles, four spans of wire, and three transformers that need to be replaced,” Boyles said Friday morning. “We already replaced five of the poles on Tuesday. The remaining poles are in areas where we are not yet able to work due to fire activity.”
Boyles said the goal of PG&E work crews is to restore additional customers in Sugar Pine, Cedar Valley, and Sky Ranch when the Forest Service and the Sheriff feel it is safe to do so, hopefully by Sunday evening.
“Our goal is to be able to restore power to customers either when evacuations are lifted or immediately before evacuations are lifted when given permission from the Forest Service.”
Boyles explained the PG&E’s Vegatation Management team identified 1,378 fire-impacted hazard trees that need to be removed as a result of fire damage.
“So far, we have removed 309 of the fire-impacted trees,” Boyle said Thursday night.Along with the work of PG&E, Cal Trans removed about 250 trees along Highway 41 that looked like they could have been hazardous to motorists on 41.
The remaining fire-impacted trees will be removed over the next few weeks.
The community of Fish Camp was re-populated on Sept. 6.
“We restored electric service to 245 customers before evacuation orders were lifted by law enforcement agencies,” Boyles said. “Since the start of the Railroad Fire, more than 175 PG&E workers and contractors have been part of PG&E’s efforts to restore service and restore a sense of normalcy to the citizens of the area.”
Along with the work of PG&E, Cal Trans removed about 250 trees along Highway 41 that looked like they could have been hazardous to motorists on 41.
The Railroad Fire was reported Friday morning at 12,141 acres - minor growth from 12,099 the night before - and 50% contained, with 1,045 personnel on assignment.
PG&E crews are going through the same process in North Fork due to the Mission Fire. Power was restored to the area prior to homeowners
Firefighters made significant progress overnight to construct control lines into Friday morning on the Mission Fire east of North Fork and north of Cascadel Heights and Cascadel Woods, officials said, as it remained at 1,035 acres and was now 50% contained.
Tomorrow (Sept. 9), the residents of Sugar Pine will be allowed to return home at 3 p.m., followed by the full reopening of Highway 41 at 5 p.m. through to Yosemite National Park.
Officials hope to reopen Cedar Valley, where burning operations were underway Thursday, by the end of the weekend.