FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 25, 2018
Contact: Rebecca Band, 510 326 0897
VACAVILLE, CA — Today, CalFire issued a press release regarding its completed investigations of four wildfires that occurred in October of 2017. Three of these fires have been referred to the respective county’s District Attorney’s offices for further review.
At this point, the complete CalFire reports have not been released to the public, and only CalFire and the District Attorneys have access to the full reports. Without seeing these reports in entirety, we are unable to comment on what may or may not be contained within them.
However, as the union that represents both utility workers and line clearance tree trimmers in northern and central California, we are well-aware of and increasingly concerned about the ongoing challenges that utilities face regarding vegetation management around power lines.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, California’s lengthy drought and bark beetle infestation have resulted in 129 million dead trees in California. This is a major issue that must be addressed, and we will continue to advocate for more aggressive vegetation management as required under the state Public Resources Code.
Tackling this problem will require close collaboration between the utilities, tree trimmer contractors, the workforce and various government agencies. We look forward to working closely with any and all parties that seek to mitigate and prevent such fires from occurring in the future.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245 represents 20,000 utility, line clearance tree trimming, construction, public sector and manufacturing workers in California and Nevada. For more information, visit www.ibew1245.com.