Update on fire-related power shutoffs in California

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2019

Thursday morning, Pacific Gas & Electric said improved weather conditions allowed them to conduct safety inspections, repairs and restorations in some areas.

PG&E intentionally blacked out about 730,000 homes and businesses Wednesday in northern and central California because of predicted dry, gusty winds.

The notice wasn't Tesla's only response to the outages affecting the automaker's San Francisco Bay Area home.

Another 500,000 customers had their electricity cut off earlier by the utility to prevent transmission lines from being toppled and starting wildfires amid heavy winds and extreme fire danger. Officials warned that Southern California could be next as the brutal Santa Ana winds are forecast to begin blowing Thursday evening/Friday afternoon.

PG&E shares have lost more than 75 percent of their value since November 8, when the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history broke out.

There's no word on how long the outage will last, although PG&E says it could be days because power lines must be inspected and declared safe after the winds subside.

PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late January after facing liabilities stemming from wildfires in Northern California that occurred over the past two years. He said extremely low humidity levels added to the fire threat. The city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley are expected to be spared.

Power lines were blamed for one of the worst fire seasons in 2017 and 2018 after dozens of wildfires across the state burned hundreds of thousands of acres, leaving more than 80 people dead and thousands more homeless.

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