PG&E May Cut Power to 48864 Customers on California Fire Risk

  • PG&E May Cut Power to 48864 Customers on California Fire Risk

PG&E May Cut Power to 48864 Customers on California Fire Risk

The Eureka office of the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning that goes into effect at 11 p.m. and lasts until Friday at 11 a.m.

A small base of customers in Sonoma County is being warned by PG&E of a possible Power Shutoff on Wednesday as hot, windy weather returns to the region.

The renewed risky weather conditions developed as most of the huge fires that erupted over the past eight weeks have been fully or significantly contained and skies once stained orange by heavy smoke were blue again.

Red-flag warnings for extreme fire danger were in place for much of the San Francisco Bay Area where winds bringing hot, dry gusts of up to 55 miles per hour were expected to pose a threat of sparking new blazes in a region that already has seen some of the worst wildfires in state history.

The utility also has deployed generators and other measures to keep electricity flowing in some areas that might loose power during the outages, Quinlan said.

The deliberate blackout, which began Wednesday evening across the Sierra foothills and parts of the Bay Area, is the third engineered in about a month by PG&E as strong winds buffeted portions of Northern California.

PG&E has been resorting to power shutoffs to prevent its electrical lines from sparking wildfires after its equipment was blamed for causing some of California's worst blazes, forcing the company into bankruptcy past year.

All power should be restored by late Friday night, the utility said.

Several of the California counties falling under the PG&E shutoffs have already been hit by massive wildfires.

More than 50,000 California utility customers were without power and others around the state were urged to conserve electricity Thursday amid a fall heat wave that brought another round of extreme wildfire danger.

The Zogg Fire to our north is now 99-percent contained, while the August Complex fires are slowly gaining containment and now stand at 75-percent contained. Thirty-one people have died, and over 9,200 structures have been destroyed. PG&E estimated its cuts potentially could affect almost 4,700 customers in Shasta and around 1,200 in Tehama.

At least 31 people have died in the more than 8,500 fires that have burned in the state in 2020.

Numerous studies have linked bigger wildfires in America to climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

Dale Kasler covers climate change, the environment, economics and the convoluted world of California water.

PG&E is under intense pressure from state officials to avoid causing more wildfires with its equipment, and has ramped up its use of planned blackouts the past two years after being driven into bankruptcy by liabilities from the 2017 wine country fires and November 2018 Camp Fire.