PG&E plans to turn off power to 600000 addresses to prevent wildfires

Undergrounding Power lines

Late last month, PG&E shut off power to more than 48,000 northern California customers in precaution following dry and windy conditions.

Multiple media reports indicate that the North Coast would not be alone in the dark, with hundreds of thousands slated to see power shut off in the Bay Area, as wells as parts of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties. "It could take several days to fully restore power after the weather passes and safety inspections are completed".

As of shortly before 11 a.m., PG&E's website at for information about the possible shutoffs was not accessible.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced Monday it may shut off power this week in almost 30 northern California counties in response to strong and dry winds posing a fire threat. The agency also has issued red flag warnings across much of Northern California. This is because the electric system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions. However, customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this major wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance. On Tuesday, PG&E officials expanded the potential scope of the "public safety power shutoff" to portions of Kern, Humboldt, Trinity and Marin counties.

The company accounced early this year that if certain weather conditions do occur, they will cut power to areas affected in order to prevent wildfires. That process can not begin until the severe weather event has subsided. PG&E officials said they will not turn the power back on until all its equipment is inspected and repaired after the storm has passed.

"This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we've seen in our territory in recent years", Michael Lewis, senior vice president of PG&E Electric Operations, said in a statement.

Overall, based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates that this weather event will last through midday Thursday, with peak winds forecasted from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning and reaching 40 to 55 miles per hour, with isolated gusts up to 60 to 70 miles per hour.

He also encouraged households to create emergency plans and kits which include food and water for all family members and pets.