aerial

The US utility has started daily aerial patrols to spot wild-fires across thousands of miles of its territory.

PG&E is flying seven planes daily to help the US Forest Service, CAL Fire and local fire agencies with early fire detection and response.

The project is now in its sixth year and runs from June 1 through the end of October.

Sumeet Singh, vice president of the Community Wildfire Safety Programme at PG&E, said: "Given the continued and growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires, we are committed to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep our customers and the communities we serve safe. Early detection with these patrols can give first responders the critical window of time to quickly contain wildfires."

 In 2018, the utility conducted 5,200 aerial patrol hours and identified 209 fires, of which 10 were first reports.

PG&E has also installed weather stations and high definition cameras to increase wildfire situational awareness, in addition to its 24/7 wildfire safety operations center.