Calif. Power Company Turns Off Power To Residents To Prevent Fires

The move is for "extreme fire-risk areas."
Posted at 2:02 PM, Oct 15, 2018

After a devastating wildfire season in California, one power company is shutting off power to tens of thousands customers to prevent more.  

In a press release, Pacific Gas & Electric Company — PG&E for short — said it would begin preemptively turning off power to around 87,000 customers in "extreme fire-risk areas" starting Sunday night.

As of Monday morning, the company had cut power to more than 59,000 customers in the Sierra Foothills and North Bay communities. The outages are expected to last until Tuesday at the latest.

It's an unprecedented move for PG&E. But it's part of the power company's new strategy to try and reduce wildfires, after being partially blamed for causing more than a dozen fires in the October 2017 Fire Siege.

Cal Fire says investigators discovered some of the wildfires were caused by trees or tree limbs falling onto PG&E power lines, and claim the company failed to follow state laws that require adequate clearance between trees and power lines.

Cal Fire issued a red flag warning for much of Northern California and multiple counties in the southern part of the state because of strong winds and low humidity levels. Cal Fire expects the warning to last through Tuesday night.