California’s wildfire losses and their associated costs could be more than double what’s been reported, according to the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST). In it’s recently-released report, “The Costs of Wildfire in California: An Independent Review of Scientific and Technical Information,” CCST states that the data currently available fails to account for unquantifiable losses, such as public health impacts, resulting in inaccurate costs.
In a letter to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) President Marybel Batjer on May 7, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) called on CPUC to continue expedited deployment of electric grid resilience projects across California during preparation for the upcoming wildfire season and the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.
With the support from Governor Newsom and the Legislature, the CPUC this month (5/30/2019) approved allowing utilities to cut off electricity to possibly hundreds of thousands of customers to avoid catastrophic wildfires like the one sparked by power lines last year that killed 85 people and largely destroyed the city of Paradise.