The Kincaid fire in Sonoma County is near where I live, but we are not inundated with smoke like with the Paradise fire. However, much of Vacaville was without power or wifi for days on two separate occasions, in October. Ironically, despite the punitive power shutoffs, PG&E's aging and poorly maintained equipment probably caused the Kincaid fire.
Last year around this time when PG&E burned down Paradise, California, killing dozens and destroying a perfectly fine community, my community was living under a deadly blanket of toxic smoke. Even going out with a mask on (if you could find one to buy) was not sufficient and I know I, for one, got really ill from it.
We sit in our homes with the wind beating the shit out of us wondering when it will be our community burning down and these power outages are not helping anything. Between power outages and people dying, of course, there’s no choice, but there are other options that need to be put into place quickly!
As we know there are no power “needs,” only power “wants,” but under late-stage, predatory capitalism, the criminal profiteers have made it nearly impossible to live/make a living without power.
When businesses are closed, most of the workers are not making any wages. I have read of restaurants losing thousands of dollars of food while we residents of the dystopian PG&E-fiefdom also lose freezers filled with leftovers, etc. My son, for example, was off for a week because the office of his employer is near the Kincaid fire and many of his colleagues have been evacuated or are under the threat of imminent evacuation. Again, no work, no pay---except for the fat cats in Sacramento or in the boardroom of PG&E.
There are many disturbing factual errors in the above statement, but the hubris of telling we rate-paying peasants to go to "food banks" to restock our freezers (is PG&E donating millions to these mostly heroic food banks?) is heightened by the fact many PG&E board members are compensated in seven-figured packages.
"These events can be hard on people, really hard on people, particularly
people who have struggles anyways and there are community-based things
you can do, food banks, these kinds of things. But for us, you know the
main thing is we didn't cause any fires, we didn't, for these people we
didn't burn down any houses, the Kincade fire is still under
the investigation, I got that, but one of the things we did was give them
the opportunity to actually refill their refrigerator 'cause their house
is still there."
Governor Gavin Newsom is offering no solutions except to say, “this has been decades in the making,” and that scoundrel belongs to one of the top Democrat families that (along with the Feinsteins, Jerry Browns, and Pelosis) have allowed PG&E to lay siege to the public commons so that a handful of murderers can earn millions of dollars. PG&E has been allowed for far too long to pillage and poison California! Enough is enough, already!
Besides the discussions of how to “get off the grid,” the positive thing about this entire situation is that ordinary people (not activists, not anarchists, not socialists, not communists) are outraged and no one is complacent about this. I hear, “PG&E’s equipment should be seized by each community and we should form our own utility districts,” from the most surprising sources: my bus driver; two older gentlemen I was walking behind at the park today; a librarian: no one is complacent. Also, there is much discussion about breaking up monopolies and political dynasties, which is urgently needed.
In my opinion, these power outages seem to be random and ineffective, with power out on one side of a street, but not the other---with power out in interior clumps of Vacaville, but not other areas---and, like stated above, the Kincaid fire was caused by faulty PG&E equipment---so I think PG&E is punishing Northern California for finally fining it for the devastation caused in Paradise, after raising our rates, of course. PG&E is trying to turn my beautiful state into one of Trump’s “shithole countries.” The next thing we know the Clinton Foundation will be swooping in to “save us;” goddess, that’s all we need!
Of course, catastrophic climate change is playing a role in the new season in Cali, called “Fire Season,” but there sure would be far fewer fires and damage if PG&E had been attending to its equipment and not its profits.
Public power should not be for-profit but should be put under the democratic control of each community with the goal of providing safe power and the exploration of alternative forms of energy.
I don’t know anyone in my town that is itching to burn it down for a few dollars.