M-Fire can defend old dry non fire treated poles in and around all our homes in San Diego now to lower some of the risk of loss if SDGE becomes pro-active against there construction defect. What is disturbing to me is how could a company like SDGE’s engineers install so many wooden poles without any fire protection. These old dried out poles in and around all our homes light up on fire like Roman candles when they are surrounded by dry fuel growth . If this was in a building Construction Defect Attorneys would be suing the builders liability insurance for not using the proper fire treatments readily available for the last 50 years.
Recently M-Fire President and a retired SD Fire Chief met with the upper management of SDGE to offer them solutions and never heard from them they went dark. This Class A Pole Armor could cost as little as $500.00 per pole and if it saves one home or one life this is a cost they should be able to afford.
The upper management of SDGE in our meeting recognized the problem on how they did not fire treat these poles. They said they were looking into ways to fire treat all these raw wooden poles but we have not heard from them. We have also tried to reach out to the other power companies in California but they do not respond either.
We understand the cost to remove old raw wooden to go under ground is not possible but the cost to retro fit is very reasonable when it involves lowering risk.
M fire, a San Diego Company has developed the engineering for these fire treated pole armors and is ready to assist SDGE and the other Power Companies to help remove this threat and make them more resilient.
In an astonishing series of regulatory filings, SDG&E said it is almost certain to cause or contribute to a catastrophic fire sometime in the next 20 years.
In 2007, San Diego Gas & Electric’s equipment ignited the Witch, Guejito and Rice fires that burned over 200,000 acres, killed two people and destroyed 1,300 homes.
Since then, the company has spent $1.5 billion preparing for another fire and, so far, it’s worked. The company hasn’t caused a major fire in 12 years.
But SDG&E doubts the streak will last.
“While the goal behind these efforts is to avoid wildfire ignitions related to SDG&E facilities, SDG&E cannot entirely eliminate that risk,” the company’s director of financial planning, Don Widjaja, said in recent written testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission.
His remarks are part of an astonishing series of regulatory filings in which SDG&E said it is almost certain to cause or contribute to a catastrophic fire sometime in the next 20 years.
SDG&E’s wildfire risk model predicts there’s a 5 percent chance the company causes or contributes to a major fire in any given year.
The company said the average fire it contributes to is likely to cause $3.7 billion in damage, roughly a billion dollars more than the company paid after the 2007 fires.
“To arrive at these estimates, we took into account a variety of factors, including historical information, current environmental conditions, operating procedures and fire behavior modeling that forecasts the potential consequences of wildfires,” company spokeswoman Helen Gao said in an email. “SDG&E’s method creates 10,000 modeled outcomes, which are then analyzed to calculate the probability of fires exceeding a certain amount of financial damage.”
Because of this, the company is asking for permission to increase electricity rates by $168 million in the next several years to help maintain investor confidence. SDG&E is owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy, which is publicly traded.
The company said investor confidence helps its customers, even if funding confidence-boosting measures for investors means increasing power bills. SDG&E said shaky companies pay higher interest rates when they borrow money. SDG&E plans to borrow nearly $6 billion over the next five years. Those borrowing costs are also passed on to customers.
Officials at the company remain bitter over a 2017 California Public Utilities Commission decision. Regulators denied the company’s request to make customers pay for $379 million in costs related to the 2007 fires that SDG&E’s insurers wouldn’t cover.
Regulators denied the request, in part, because it found that SDG&E had not followed “good utility practice” before and during the 2007 fires. The company is appealing that decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now, the company still only has $1.5 billion in insurance – far less than the damage it expects it might help cause in coming years. But the company argues may not make sense to buy insurance to cover all the potential losses, because carrying more insurance could end up costing more over time than if the company had to pay for extraordinary damages out of pocket, in part because tax code allows it to write off some of those expenses.