Santa Barbara County

PG&E using helicopters for accelerated wildfire safety inspections

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is using helicopters to conduct accelerated wildfire safety inspections of electrical substations, transmission towers and lines in addition to routine patrols of wires and poles in certain areas of Santa Barbara County.

PG&E crews and contractors began inspections Friday and will continue into early May, a spokesman for the utility company said.

Through Saturday, accelerated wildfire inspections will take place over electrical substations in Lompoc and Buellton.

Then Monday through Thursday, routine aerial patrols of poles, lines and other facilities will be conducted in the Figueroa Mountain and Los Olivos areas and between Lompoc and Solvang, mainly south of Highway 246.

Accelerated wildfire safety inspections over transmission towers and lines throughout northern Santa Barbara County will take place April 29 through May 6.

Depending on weather conditions, flights will occur between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at about 250 feet above the ground, the spokesman said.

Helicopters may hover in the same location for up to 10 minutes or may make repeat passes along the same set of lines to re-examine equipment.

The accelerated inspections are part of safety efforts implemented following the wildfires of 2017 and 2018 to help reduce the risk of fire.

For more information, visit pge.com/wildfireinspections.


Signals to control traffic at Salsipuedes Creek Bridge

A project to replace the Salsipuedes Creek Bridge and construct a retaining wall and fish passage on Highway 1 near Lompoc continued this week with the installation of temporary traffic signals, a Caltrans spokesman said.

The signals will maintain one-way reversing traffic control 24 hours a day, seven days a week through May 2020, said Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers.

Work on the project is expected to be completed in June 2021.

The contractor for the $5 million project is CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria.

Shivers reminded motorists to move over and slow down when driving through the highway work zone.

For more information on the project and traffic updates on other Caltrans projects in Santa Barbara County, call the District 5 Public Affairs Office at 805-549-3237 or visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/paffairs/release.htm#sb.

Santa Barbara County

Hartmann sets office hours in Los Alamos, Guadalupe, Casmalia

Third District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann will be available to meet with constituents during local office hours in Los Alamos, Guadalupe and Casmalia.

Constituent office hours in Guadalupe are scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. April 23 at Flapper’s Flip, 945 Guadalupe St.

In Los Alamos, Hartmann will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. April 24 at Bedford Winery, 448 Bell St.

Casmalia office hours will be 4 to 6 p.m. April 30 in the Hitching Post garden at 3325 Point Sal Road.

Appointments are not required.

Residents, students, community leaders and business owners can give Hartmann their community vitality ideas, learn about and share upcoming projects and ask questions or air concerns about local issues.

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-- Staff reports