SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — PG&E notified customers Tuesday evening that it may proactively shut off power again in portions of nine Northern California counties on Thursday due to extreme fire danger conditions.
The utilities company also shut off power in October amidst similar high fire danger conditions; they blacked out power in parts of six counties, affecting nearly 42,000 customers.
“We know how much our customers rely on electric service and the impacts these events can have on our customers, their families and communities,” said Pat Hogan, senior vice president of Electric Operations.
“We will only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety and as a last resort during extreme weather conditions to reduce the risk of wildfire.”
The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning for the area for the conditions that will be present on Thursday.
Some factors that PG&E focuses on when deciding whether or not to cut power include strong winds, low humidity levels, critically dry vegetation and on-the-ground observations.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the company said it is working with first responders as well as state and local agencies to keep people informed while the weather conditions may change.
PG&E began sending voicemails, texts and emails to customers alerting them of the potential power outages.
The nine counties that may be affected are: Butte, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Sonoma and Yuba.
The company’s meteorologists will continue to monitor the weather conditions starting Wednesday night and all throughout Thursday. As additional weather reports become available, PG&E will make further decisions about which areas will lose power.
Customers can learn whether their home or business is in or near a high fire-threat area by reviewing the California Public Utilities Commission’s High Fire-Threat District map.
They can also visit pge.com/wildfiresafety to determine whether their home or business is served by an electric line that may be turned off for safety.