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PG&E Shuts Down Power In Parts Of 17 Northern California Counties

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70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments

Firefighters work to stop a wildfire threatening hillside homes in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of San Francisco on Monday.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Wednesday began rolling blackouts stretching from the Sierra foothills in the northeast to portions of the San Francisco Bay Area. PG&E expects a total of about 179,000 customers in parts of 17 counties to be affected in its territory.

The strong winds could damage powerlines and, combined with low humidity, cause a high risk of wildfires. But the number of affected people will be higher since customers include houses and businesses.

When asked if he has had any discussion with PG&E regarding fire-prevention procedures for the remainder of the season, Cossey responded that he does not know what the utility's future policies are. According to CBS, 26,845 customers in Sonoma county were left without power on Wednesday, with shutoffs beginning around 2.45 p.m., while utility officials said around 7,488 customers in Napa would lose power.

More than half a million people have lost power across California as part of a deliberate blackout created to keep power lines from igniting wildfires.

Southern California Edison said Thursday that it had cut power to more than 15,000 customers as hot and dry Santa Ana swept parts of Southern California. The utility used to be desirous about extra power cuts to bigger than 286,000 customers.

The fire broke out early Thursday about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino National Forest near the city of San Bernardino.

This video, shared by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, shows the flames of the Kincade Fire.

As the fire burned, winds gusted up to 76 miles per hour nearby, the National Weather Service said.

The risk of wildfires in PG&E's territory has increased dramatically over the past several years due to drought and changes in weather patterns, he said.

Johnson said Wednesday that a PG&E employee was the target of what appeared to be a deliberate attack in Glenn County.

While the scope of this week's shut off is less than the almost 800,000 customers left in the dark earlier this month, residents said the effects are just as wide-ranging.

Outages that could last 48 hours seek to keep gusts from pummeling power lines and sparking devastating wildfires.

"Public Safety Power Shutoffs have begun in Santa Rosa".

In response to a question regarding criticism from some lawmakers about the scope of the last power shutdown on October 9 and 10, Johnson and Quinlan said that given over 130 cases of damage found afterwards in equipment that could have started a fire, the scope of the shutdown was accurate. In a statement, Bill Johnson, CEO of PG&E said: "Let me say this: there is no justification for this sort of violence".

Johnson says forecasters are also keeping an eye on another possible wind event that could lead to preventative blackouts over the weekend into early next week.

In Southern California, extreme fire danger is in place for Thursday into Friday.

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