Aided by personnel from neighboring utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) crews made some progress in restoring service over the weekend to parts of the broad area still under siege from multiple wildfires in Northern California.
More than 4,300 PG&E field service workers, including mutual-aid crews from neighboring utilities in Southern California and Oregon, worked throughout the weekend. Restoration efforts continued around the clock.
Since Oct. 9, PG&E field crews have proactively turned off gas service to about 42,000 customers in the affected fire areas of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. The utility had restored gas service to roughly 23,000 customers by Monday morning, leaving 15,000 customers without gas service, a PG&E spokesperson said. Over the weekend, the gas outage number was 29,000 customers, PG&E said Saturday.
Nearly 900 crew members, including a contingent of 90 gas field workers from Sempra Energy's Southern California Gas Co., were working to support the restoration and pilot relight efforts "where it is safe to do so."
On the electric side, PG&E as of Monday had restored power to 94% of the customers who had lost it during the past week because of the fires. "Crews made good progress through the weekend with electric restoration, however due to the fires in and around Sonoma, an additional 4,000 customers lost service," the spokesperson said. About 22,500 electric customers without power in Sonoma and Napa counties. That represented a drop of more than 6,000 from the outages at the start of last Friday.
PG&E continues to dispatch workers, supplies and equipment from its base camps in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties, and it has crews from surrounding utilities under a mutual-aid agreement program.
PG&E President Nick Stavropoulos that the "pain and heartache" being experienced throughout the wildfire area is profound, noting that his utility is "right beside" its customers in facing the challenges. He called the ongoing effort by firefighters and first responders "remarkable and nothing short of heroic."