Pacific Gas & Electric is launching the first wave of a multibillion initiative to bury 10,000 miles of distribution lines in areas of high risk of wildfires in Northern and Central California.
Officials with the utility giant made the announcement last week of the first wave, which aims to place nearly 3,600 miles of powerlines underground. The estimated cost is nearly $4 million per mile, officials said.
The project is part of a wildfire mitigation plan to be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 25.
Transmission wires have been blamed for starting many wildfires around the state in recent years, including the Dixie Fire that started in July 2021 and burned nearly a million acres and destroyed more than 1,400 structures before it was contained in late October.
Company officials said in November that the company would lose an estimated $1 billion from the fire and related lawsuits.