Mandatory Evacuations and Canceled Power Shut-Offs
California is once again struggling to contain fires that are devasting its residents. On October 28, approximately 70,000 residents were ordered to evacuate their homes and businesses in Orange County, California. In the Bay Area, power was shut off to several thousand customers.
The takeaway? California issues with both fire and power outages are far from over. Although, residents did get a little bit of a reprieve. The most recent events as well as changing weather conditions (high fire risk) prompted PG&E to cancel their latest power shutoff. This shutoff would have impacted parts of six different countries (five of which are in the Bay Area). The six counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Santa Clara, and Sonoma.
But where does this leave California residents going forward? How can the state recover from both the fires and the power shut-offs? Experts are looking at a multipronged approach. With nearly 40 million residents in the state, these issues must get addressed as quickly as possible.
Here are a few ways California can help address the current issues their facing.
- More prescribed burning
Controlled burning is a cheap and effective way to clear dry brush and excess debris in woodlands where fires can start. While there are other detriments (such as fires getting out of control or air pollutants), this could be one way to manage the fires overall.
- Streamline the permitting process
It can be hard to help prevent fires even if people want to help. For example, prescribed burning, selective logging, forest clearing, and other projects that help to reduce the risk of fires require extensive permitting and paperwork. Streamlining this process and providing incentives for these industries to get involved could decrease the rate at which fires occur.
- Improved building and design codes
With the issues California is having today, there local and state governments should improve residential and commercial building codes. Homes should be fireproof, and buildings shouldn’t be permitted in any area that is considered a high risk for fires.
- Reduce carbon emissions
The problem with California fires and power shut-offs will only worsen if nothing is done to address the climate crisis at hand. While fossil fuels are being phased out, there still much to be done when it comes to making homes as energy-efficient as possible. If your home or business doesn’t run on solar energy, join the movement! You can help avert disaster and restore order to the power grid.
If you’re a California resident, it may feel as though you’re facing deeply uncomfortable circumstances with no solution. Del Sol Energy wants to help. As a leader in local solar, we help reduce the carbon emissions in the community and give you access to your own power during outages at the same time with residential and commercial energy storage solutions. Visit here to learn more about us.