California braces for possible round 2 of outages

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric will decide Wednesday whether to black out some half-million customers as dangerous fire weather returns to California.

PG&E says it could begin precautionary power shutoffs as early as Wednesday afternoon to about 189,000 homes and businesses in portions of 16 counties, mostly in the Sierra foothills and north of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The utility says the outages will last about 48 hours.

A blackout two weeks ago affected about 2 million people in northern and central California. PG&E says both shutoffs were aimed at preventing wildfires caused by downed or fouled power lines. The danger is from gusty winds in the midst of hot, dry weather.

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison says it could cut power Thursday to about 132,000 customers in six counties — around 300,000 people.

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Weber reported from Los Angeles. AP Writer Janie Har contributed from San Francisco.

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