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Posted on: Nov 4, 2019

Wildfires and rolling blackouts. Is this the new normal?

Governor Gavin Newsom is pushing PG&E to adjust their proposed 10-year timeline to finally modernize their equipment and cut back vegetation near power lines, but for now, we better get used to it.

Millions of Californians have been affected or displaced by power outages and an already overwhelming fire season that has only just begun.

Thousands of firefighters continue to work 24-hour shifts to protect our homes and families, breathing in deadly smoke and toxic fumes that will harm their health for years to come. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of utility workers scramble to fix downed lines and improve fire safety in hazardous conditions.

We must remember that it’s not the workers who are at fault for our current state of forced blackouts, and we must do all we can to ensure their protection and safety.

Governor Newsom rightfully declared a state of emergency and Cal/OSHA was quick to remind employers of the standard to protect workers from wildfire smoke and poor air quality.

For the brave men and women who get injured protecting the rest of us, or who’ll suffer lasting health effects from battling the raging infernos, we must ensure our workers’ compensation system provides the appropriate care in their greatest time of need.

This is something CAAA will continue to advocate for with every fiber of our being.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters, utility workers, our members and all those who have been impacted by the wildfires and power outages.

Hopefully this new normal won’t last forever.