California Blackouts, Raging Fires

 In Domestic

Pacific Gas and Electric is supposedly reeling from financial deficits as they shut off power to millions- yes, millions – of Californians in order to ‘prevent’ wildfires. Yet high winds are fueling wildfire infernos across the state without their help. Thousands of people have been displaced, millions without power. The California blackouts are putting veterans and civilians on medical devices at extreme risk and that’s not counting the fires themselves. Updating their electrical lines might have spared the state from these conflagrations.

At Risk from California Blackouts

There are 1.6 million veterans living in California.  Many of them are on medical devices. Hospitals without power can be life-threatening. reported:

“I urge you to use your authority as governor to restore power certainty to the millions of people you serve, including veterans who depend on power for their health and safety,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie wrote in a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday…

Electric companies throughout the state have been cutting power during windy weather. One blaze in northern California’s Sonoma County has so far burned more than 30,000 acres.

…VA facilities have back-up power, but the department cannot ensure electricity for veterans or the more than 56,000 community care partners, Wilkie said in the letter. As a result, prolonged blackouts could be “dangerous” for veterans receiving in-home care or for those who use refrigerated medications such as insulin, he wrote.

“With so many veterans dependent upon these necessities, the uncertainty these power outages pose is extremely troubling,” he wrote.

Of course, veterans aren’t the only ones at risk, hospitals with no generators are a problem for the elderly and those on medical devices.

The Fires

The winds shifted on Monday, and placed thousands more homes in the path of the raging fires in the Kincade fire in Northern California. It is now at nearly 75,000 acres. It’s only 15% contained. The Getty Fire in Los Angeles County has concerns growing as well.

California blackouts

Here are the stats: ‘17 active fires burning across California, 94,000+ acres burned and rising, 129,000,000 dead trees, 1,000,000+ without power over the weekend, 40 public schools across Sonoma County closed, 200,000 people displaced near the San Francisco Bay area.’

Some of the firefighters, 1,500 of them, are actually prisoners who receive $2 per day, with an extra $1 per hour for firefighting. They also receive a sentence reduction.  The program has been ongoing since WWII.

We received this email from an unhappy person in the path of the California blackouts. The opinions expressed reveal some of the anger of California residents.

“It is beyond horrible. WE were out for two days, one for a day and a half and scheduled to be out another 3-4 days Tuesday or Wednesday. It not only affects all of the residents but businesses, hospitals as well. The vast majority do not have generators, it is impossible to use them in many places. As winter is rapidly approaching and our night time temps are in the 30’s, no heat is a horrible problem as well. Those of us that need medical devices have nowhere to turn.
PG&E continues to pay some of the highest dividends to stockholders (many of which are in the legislature) instead of repairing and replacing outdated equipment. 6 out of 8 of our last BAD fires were caused by faulty equipment on PG&E’s part.
Politically driven emergencies at the expense of the consumers. It is horrible.” California Resident

Mismanagement can be a terrible thing.

Featured photo: Screenshot via CBS


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