NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — The Pacific Gas & Electric company filed an Electric Incident Report (EIR) with the California Public Utilities Commission in connection to the Old Fire in Napa County on Thursday, June 2.
Cal Fire reports that the Old Fire began on May 31 near Old Soda Springs Road in Napa at approximately 3:35p.m. According to the EIR filed by PG&E, there was a “fault on the Pueblo 1105 (12 kV), the line closest to the fire location identified on the CAL FIRE website, occurring within minutes of CAL FIRE’s reported start time.” Whether this fault is connected to the Old Fire is still under investigation by Cal Fire.
PG&E goes on to say that at this time they are not aware of any downed lines in the area. According to the statement the line was “not EPSS enabled, because conditions did not meet EPSS criteria at the time.” According to PG&E’s website, EPSS, or Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings, are a series of advanced safety settings that can automatically cut power to a power line very quickly in case of a hazard, such as a tree falling onto a power line.
PG&E‘s website states that EPSS measures began in 2021 and will only be “enabled when elevated wildfire risk is present”. It is unclear why Red Flag warnings in the area did not meet PG&E’s bar for “elevated wildfire risk”.
In a statement to KRON4, PG&E said the EIR was filed “out of an abundance of caution”. The company also stated, “We are grateful to the first responders who are fighting this fire and making progress on its containment.”