Monday, October 26, 2015

Helicopters setting a utility pole (Butte Fire, CA)

Regular followers of my blog know that after we have had a weather event with a lot of power failures that I have gone around armed with my camera and taken photos of utility crews who have restored power. My way of saying thank-you. See for example I posted this article thanking out-of-state utility crews on November 14, 2012, five days after our power was restored after Super Storm Sandy wrecked havoc on New Jersey and environs.

Devastation is devastation whether it be from a weather event like Super Storm Sandy which caused extensive damage to the New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island coastlines or a major wildfires. Houses are damaged, business are damaged. And electric infrastructure along with other infrastructure is damaged.

I have not personally experienced any kind of wildfire so I can speak from personal experience. But it stands to reason that one of the first things that has to happen is to restore electricity to areas affected by a wildfire. Now I have known that helicopters are used for work on electric infrastructure. While I have not personally witnessed a helicopter helping with electric infrastructure I have heard reports of such activity from my friends. One of these days I'll see a helo up close and personal doing electric infrastructure work.

In the short two-minute video (see below) you will see a helicopter bring in a utility pole, assumedly replacing one damaged by the Butte Fire, and the workers on the ground setting the pole. The Butte Fire burned 70,868 acres in Amador and Calaveras Counties in California destroying 475 residences and 343 outbuildings. There were two civilian casualites and one injury. The CAL FIRE incident page, which will be taken down at some point, is available here. I referred to the Butte Fire in this article. The fire which started on September 9th was 100 percent contained sometime in early October of this year.

Direct link to video on Youtube

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