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Opinion

Readers React: We’ll be safer from wildfires once we get rid of electrical grids

US-FIRE-CALIFORNIA-CAMP FIRE
Power lines are seen against a smoky landscape east of Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 11.
(Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: We need to go beyond a discussion of how to deal with the existing energy infrastructure or who or what is to blame for these fires.

Power lines are outdated technology, like land-line telephones. We have managed to transition to wireless cellphones in this century, so why not do the same with energy transmission? We need to think outside the box.

Perhaps we can adopt some form of wireless energy transmission or “point-of-use” power generation, where electricity is generated at the point of consumption. Solar panels with battery storage would do the trick, and that technology already exists.

The utility companies could reinvent themselves and lease or sell solar panels and battery packs to consumers and maintain them.

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The current catastrophes are an opportunity for us to create a 21st century energy system that will be safer and greener. Let’s use this opportunity to do just that.

Lindy Rice, Rio Linda, Calif.

..

To the editor: There was a time when high winds, blizzards, earthquakes and other phenomena were called “acts of God.” That was before attorneys began mining the gold in the pockets of utility companies.

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Until someone can control 70-mph winds, debris will hit the power lines and red-hot cinders will blow through the air, as happened in the Thomas fire last year and the Camp and Woolsey fires this year. We will likely see more such wildfires in the future.

Disconnecting electrical circuits can be risky, as power is needed to pump water, open garage doors and residential gates, and provide residential lighting when people are told to evacuate in the middle of the night. If there were simple solutions to stopping wildfires, the utilities would have implemented them long ago.

Jere Robings, Thousand Oaks

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