Utility PG&E Corp planned to proactively shut off power on Saturday to 27,000 customers in Northern California due to an increased risk of wildfires, officials said. We want to make sure all of our customers in these areas are prepared for a Public Safety Power Shutoff by updating their contact information with PG&E, having a personal safety plan and reviewing their emergency kits. The wildfire ignited in Butte County and killed 85 people, burned 153,336 acres and destroyed more than 18,000 structures.
State investigators concluded that PG&E's power lines caused the fire, which leveled almost 19,000 homes and other structures and caused some $16.5 billion in losses.
Pacific Gas & Electric on Friday said it will cut the electricity for roughly 1,600 customers in parts of Northern California that were considered "areas of extreme fire risk".
PG&E crews completed safety patrols, inspections and repairs of electric infrastructure in the impacted areas and restored power this evening.
Gusts of up to 50MPH were forecast and PG&E says an additional 30,00 customers may also see a power cut. "We appreciate our customers' and the public's patience as we work through this important safety step in the restoration process", said Michael Lewis, senior vice president of Electric Operations, PG&E.
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California experienced a very wet winter and spring, and even vast areas that were scorched earth after last year's wildfires now have new head-high brush that is rapidly browning as summer approaches.
The Sand Fire in Yolo County had grown to 2,200 acres by mid-day Sunday and evacuations were ordered for some residents in Rumsey.
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The National Weather Service's red flag warning was issued for parts of the Central Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for Saturday through Sunday at elevations below 1,000 feet (305 meters), where there has been less rain recently and the vegetation is driest.
Pacific Gas & Electric says it is ending proactive power shutdowns in three Northern California counties that were implemented to guard against wildfires during windy, dry and hot weather.