Pole fires cause outages in the East Bay

September 17, 2010 7:07:38 PM PDT
About 1,100 PG&E customers were without power in Richmond this morning due to an outage caused by pole fires, a utility spokeswoman said.

The outage, which was reported overnight and affected about 3,000 customers at its peak, is expected to last until 6 p.m., PG&E spokeswoman Cindy Pollard said.

The outage was apparently caused by pole fires caused by a buildup of dust and pollution on the lines, which combined with the heavy moisture and fog overnight to create a mud-like mixture that can spark a fire on the lines, Pollard said.