SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will create around-the-clock wildfire prediction and response center in San Francisco and hire firefighters on retainer as part of its plan to prevent wildfires or contain them once they erupt.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Thursday the utility will add hundreds of weather stations to its network to monitor conditions. It plans to replace wooden poles with steel ones so the electrical grid can better endure windstorms.

The utility says it’s also considering putting more power lines underground.

The company is set to announce its wildfire safety program later Thursday.

The utility’s equipment is being investigated as a potential cause of wildfires that broke out in October in Northern California, killing 45 people and causing a state-estimated $9 billion in property damage.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com