With a Fire Weather Watch issued by the National Weather Service across Northern California this week, PG&E has announced it may shut off power to up to 67,000 customers starting as soon as Monday. The counties that could be affected by the power shut downs are Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sutter, and Yuba.
Warm winds combined with low humidity and dry vegetation is creating a situation that favors wildfires and serious concerns from the utility company.
PG&E is actively monitoring hot and windy weather conditions and preparing for a possible Public Safety Power Shutoff (#PSPS) within the next 48 hours due to elevated fire risks in parts of Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sutter and Yuba counties. https://t.co/W6VuOaZO6S pic.twitter.com/76zc3jOcTe— PG&E (@PGE4Me) September 22, 2019
â€œThe safety of our customers and the communities we serve is PG&Eâ€™s top priority. We know how much our customers rely on electric service and would only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety when gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community,â€ said Sumeet Singh, PG&E vice president of the Community Wildfire Safety Program.
Weather forecast models could change over the next 24 hours and PG&E will keep a close eye on the situation. The company will alert its customers of the shut offs via text, emails and phone calls. Customers in the potentially affected areas should be equipped with emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
Here's a look at your forecast through next weekend. The start of Fall (Sep 23) marks an active period going from heat and elevated fire weather concerns to cool and unsettled late in the week! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/wVXg88Knb5— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) September 22, 2019
Following a bevy of wildfires in Northern California over recent years that were determined to be caused by PG&E equipment, the company has opted for voluntary shut downs when weather sees increased fire risk. The company has payed $16.9 billion in wildfire liabilities over the past 3 years.