California faces historic power outage due to fire danger

California faces historic power outage due to fire danger

October 9, 2019
Associated Press

Millions of people were poised to lose electricity throughout northern and central California after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced Tuesday it would shut off power in the largest preventive outage in state history to try to avert wildfires caused by faulty lines.

PG&E said it would begin turning off power to 800,000 customers in 34 counties starting after midnight Wednesday amid forecasts of windy, dry weather that create extreme fire danger. To the south, Southern California Edison also said Tuesday that more than 106,000 of its customers in parts of eight counties could face power cuts.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention said it increased staffing in preparation for extreme fire weather and what was expected to be the strongest wind event so far this fire season.

"With some of the most destructive and deadliest fires occurring October through December, we need Californians to not be complacent," said Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter in a news release. "Residents need to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice in the event of a wildfire."

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