Burying power lines is one of the most effective ways to prevent wildfires and improve overall resilience to extreme weather, but inequitable resource allocation means low-income California communities can’t afford to bury lines, a new study published Monday in Nature Energy finds. “Distribution grids in low-income communities are in a wildfire safety deficit,” Zhecheng Wang, lead author of the study, said in a statement. The California Public Utilities Commission does not consider wildfire threat nor communities’ income level when deciding where to bury power lines. Since power companies routinely shut off above-ground power lines to avoid starting wildfires, low-income communities, also less likely to have solar panels and batteries or fossil fueled-power backup are more likely to lose electricity. “They’re more likely to have power lines at risk during wildfires, and they’re less likely to have backup power,” Rajagopal added. (The Hill)