PG&E Donates Wood for The Burning Man’s Temple
August 2017

​Each year, electric companies find unconventional ways to contribute to communities around the country. This year, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is making an impact to the temporary town known as Black Rock City by donating dead trees removed along Highway 108 in California’s Tuolumne County to protect nearby powerlines and public safety. The donated trees will be used to create The Burning Man’s Temple in the Nevada desert. Burning Man takes place Aug. 27 to Sept. 4.

“It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” said Corey Peters, a PG&E vegetation management supervisor. “They’re building this really cool temple out of trees that have died in the forests that would have had to come down and be removed, anyway. In essence, we’re helping recycle the forest in a unique way. ”

Before the event, PG&E hauled the trees away as part of its clean-up program, which was created last year to help residents and communities dispose of hazardous and dead trees caused by the prolonged drought and the subsequent bark-beetle infestation. More than 100 logs, each of which are nearly 16 feet long, were donated from Tuolumne County to a local sawmill where the logs were milled into lumber and transported to Oakland where a construction team assembled a test build of the temple.

Upon arrival at Black Rock City, the temple is placed in the center of the grounds for all to admire its themed piece of art and sacred place within Black Rock City.

“It is extremely emotional for people. It is a place where people write on the wood itself, they leave pictures of loved ones they’ve lost, messages about struggles they’ve faced. All sorts of things they need to leave in the temple,” said temple crew member Steve Brummond.

Had the wood not been donated by PG&E, it would have been processed into chips to use in biomass facilities to generate clean and renewable energy.