A weather station installed by PG&E in Clear Creek is one of 600 in the North State to collect data on critical fire weather. Photo by Terry Johnson

Weather stations to collect data on critical fire weather

To assist in Public Safety Power Shutoffs in order to protect communities from wildfires, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has installed more than 600 weather stations.

One is located in Clear Creek on Twin Pines Drive. It is one of four weather stations in Lassen County.

According to Paul Moreno, a media relations spokesperson with PG&E, in addition to the one in Clear Creek, two are east of McArthur and one east of Old Station. The data collected from the weather stations includes elements such as extreme wind, temperature and low humidity which is used by PG&E meteorologists to analyze critical fire weather.

Also, the utility company has installed 130 high-definition cameras across its service area as part of the PG&E Community Wildfire Safety Program. A press release issued in December 2019 explained, “The HD cameras are part of the ALERTWildfire Camera Network, a situational awareness tool built by the University of California San Diego, the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Oregon. The high-definition, pan-tilt-zoom cameras have near-infrared capabilities that allow firefighters, first responders and companies such as PG&E to confirm and monitor wildfires.”

There are four HD cameras in Lassen County with one located on Antelope Mountain, two on Hamilton Mountain and one on Shaffer Mountain.

The weather stations and cameras enhance weather forecasting and modeling and improve the company’s ability to predict and respond to extreme wildfire danger, according to the press release.

In addition to the four weather stations in Lassen County, PG&E has installed 33 weather stations in Butte County, eight in Colusa County, five in Glenn County, nine in Plumas County, 41 in Shasta County, 26 in Tehama County, four in Trinity County and eight in Yuba County.

In addition to the four HD cameras in Lassen County, PG&E has installed 10 high-definition cameras in Butte County, four in Plumas County, eight in Shasta County, one in Sutter County, three in Tehama County, two in Trinity County and five in Yuba County.

The installation of additional weather stations and HD cameras are planned. By 2022, PG&E plans to have 1,300 weather stations in place at a density of one roughly every 20-circuit miles and 600 HD cameras in place for about 90 percent coverage of the highest fire risk areas.