More preemptive power shut-offs Thursday, PG&E warns

3 mins read

Another round of scheduled power shut-off this week will likely happen on Thursday, the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said, which can affect areas in 20 counties and some 29, 000 power consumers.

Included in the areas that can possibly be affected are the counties of Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma and Solano in the Bay Area. The utility said the considered power shut-off will be done due to the strong winds expected.

The utility has already done the earlier round of planned shut-off which affected about 25, 000 customers across Northern California and about 8, 000 in the Bay Area.

As of Tuesday, PG&E is working to bring back power to most of the affected areas. The afternoon of the same day, about 3, 750 customers in Napa County; 1, 591 in Solano County, 1, 281 in Sonoma County and 293 in Contra Costa County are estimated to lose power.

Weather conditions are being considered by the utility in power shut-offs to prevent their equipment from being affected and cause wildfires in dry areas.

That the extreme, dry winds across the region triggered a red flag warning, which means an increased fire risk, through 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, as reported by San Francisco Chronicle.

PG&E decided to do preemptive power shutdowns also due to the issues it has been connected to regarding wildfires, ABC News reported. The company was charged in September of involuntary manslaughter and other charges linked to the Zogg Fire last year. The deadly blaze started through a tree in contact with the utility’s electric line.

“We’ve accepted CAL FIRE’s determination, reached earlier this year, that a tree contacted our electric line and started the Zogg Fire. We accept that conclusion. But we did not commit a crime,” the company’s CEO, Patti Poppe, argued following the announcement of the criminal charge. “This was a tragedy, four people died. And my coworkers are working so hard to prevent fires and the catastrophic losses that come with them. They have dedicated their careers to it, criminalizing their judgment is not right.”

Meanwhile, the CEO said PG&E is doing its part to prevent wildfires. This year, it has already set a $1.4-billion investment in vegetation management and is in the process of having the 10,000 miles of power lines buried.

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