Rossmoor Residents Fear Aging Power Pole May Spark Wildfire in Contra Costa County

Several residents in the Contra Costa County senior community of Rossmoor say they've been on edge for years, fearing an aging power pole will spark a wildfire right next to their homes.

Residents say birds are eating away at the power pole, while squirrels have already turned it into a fire-starter.

"The pole itself is just riddle with woodpecker holes, which has compromised the stability of the pole itself," said Ann Peterson, Rossmoor's director of communications.

Peterson said there have been six fires near the pole in the past 12 years, with many starting when squirrels climb up the pole.

PG&E confirms that the most recent fire, which sparked last month, was caused by a squirrel.

Jim Brennan, Rossmoor resident for over a decade, said he has seen multiple fires on the hill near his home.

"The fire just starts an dit quickly comes up the hill," Brennan said. "We've justreally been lucky we haven't lost this whole entry here."

Residents now want something done, but residents are unable to do much because the pole technically is not in their gated community. PG&E is promising a change, but residents say they have been waiting and asking for the utility to respond.

"This situation is completely unacceptable and inexcusable that it has gone on as long as it has," resident William Oman said.

Peterson said residents were told by PG&E in 2017 that the pole would be replaced "and then it wasn't."

"We were told at the end of the year the pole would be replaced, and then it wasn't," Peterson said.

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