Wildfire Safety

Wildfires are a huge risk in PG&E's service area of Northern and Central California, and the utility works with CAL FIRE and other state and local agencies to help educate customers about fire safety.

According to CAL FIRE, nearly 90 percent of all wildfires in California are caused by people, often when they are engaged in routine activities. Tasks like mowing the lawn, using a weed eater or using a chain saw can spark a wildfire. Similarly, worn brakes, exposed wheel rims and dragging tow chains can also cause sparks and ignite a fire while driving.

PG&E encourages the 15 million Californians it serves to practice safe outdoor equipment use, and to properly use and maintain all vehicles. The utility also encourages customers to practice campfire safety and learn how to safely burn debris.

The following tips can help you prevent wildfires:

Equipment Use

  • Use lawn mowers before 10am and never operate a mower when it's windy or excessively dry.
  • Use spark arrestors for all portable gas-powered equipment including tractors, chainsaws, weed eaters and mowers. Spark arrestors are required for gas operated equipment in wildland areas.
  • Make sure you have enough clearance from flammable materials while grinding or welding. In wildland areas, grinding and welding operations require a permit and 10 feet of clearance.

Vehicle Use

  • Practice safe towing and make sure towing chains are not throwing sparks while driving.
  • Make sure vehicles are properly maintained with nothing dragging on the ground.
  • Properly maintain tires, tire pressure and brakes.

Burning Debris

  • Landscape debris piles must be in small 4 feet by 4 feet piles.
  • Clear all flammable material and vegetation from within 10 feet of the outer edge of the pile.
  • Keep a water supply and shovel close to the burning site.

Campfire Safety

  • Obtain proper permits.
  • Select a level location away from heavy fuels.
  • Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby at all times.
  • Completely extinguish any open campfires.

In addition to wildfire prevention, creating and maintaining defensible space can help slow or stop a wildfire and helps firefighters defend property. PG&E continually monitors fuel conditions to prepare for this risk, and we work closely with public safety organizations to assist in fire response activities.

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