As a fire blazed outside Los Angeles this week, a California Public Utilities Commission member April 29 proposed denying San Diego Gas & Electric\u2019s petition for rulemaking aimed at amending fire safety requirements for power transmission and distribution lines. The utility petitioned the CPUC after its downed power lines were implicated as a cause of wildfires that raged through San Diego County last fall. \u201cSDG&E\u2019s approach would place the proverbial cart before the horse,\u201d wrote CPUC commissioner Timothy Simon in the proposed decision. The commission should wait on any potential revision until its consumer protection and safety division finishes investigating the role of power lines in last year\u2019s wildfires. Otherwise, Simon reasoned, \u201cthere is a real possibility that the adopted regulations would not address the root causes of the fires.\u201d The proposed decision observed that Santa Ana winds last October \u201ccaused overhead electric lines owned by Southern California Edison Company and SDG&E to ignite several wildfires.\u201d The largest in San Diego County, the Witch Creek fire, burned 197,990 acres, killing two people, injuring 40, and consuming 1,650 structures. After the fire, SDG&E asked the commission to consider whether it should amend its standards for operating power lines, placing lines underground, and trimming vegetation around lines. However, the utility proposed no particular changes. The proposed decision noted that the commission\u2019s safety division is expected to make specific recommendations for any needed changes once it completes its inquiry. This might lead to amendments to the existing standards, which are 500 pages long. \u201cThere\u2019s a solution to this issue that\u2019s so simple it\u2019s deeply disturbing it\u2019s never been done,\u201d said Center for Biological Diversity conservation manager David Hogan. \u201cTurn off the electricity on remote power lines during Santa Ana winds.\u201d The center opposed the utility\u2019s petition. \u201cWe are disappointed in the CPUC\u2019s draft decision,\u201d said Stephanie Donovan, utility spokesperson. \u201cWe believe it\u2019s a really important issue for the state that needs to be addressed now.\u201d Changes may be needed to protect against another possible disaster, she said. SDG&E plans to file comments on the proposed decision before it goes to the full commission. It will be at least 30 days before the proposed decision comes before the full CPUC for consideration.