California Wildfire Prevention Map May Not Ready Until Next Fire Season

January 09, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle
By David R. Baker

When California regulators in December adopted tough new rules to prevent power lines from starting wildfires, they based the rules on a map.

Years in development, the detailed map shows which parts of California face an elevated or extreme risk of wildfires. The higher the risk in a particular area, the tougher the rules that will apply to electrical utilities operating there.

The California Public Utilities Commission, which adopted the new fire safety rules in December, will vote Thursday on extending until July the deadline for completing the map, whose last draft was released by the commission in November. The current deadline is Sunday, Jan. 14.

By July, California’s next fire season will already have begun.