A California utility is vowing to replace 3,400 miles of overhead power lines with insulated wire to reduce the risk of them sparking when hit by tree limbs or other objects.
Southern California Edison announced Monday that it aims to replace the lines by 2025 to align itself with legislation that California lawmakers have sent to the governor to sign to prevent wildfires.
Sparking power lines are one of the leading causes of California’s wildfires. Wildfires have killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in recent years.
The legislation sparked debate because it also will allow another utility company – Pacific Gas & Electric – to raise electric rates to cover the costs of lawsuits from last year’s deadly wildfires amid fears it could go bankrupt otherwise.