The Latest: PG&E shutting power to some because of fire risk
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Pacific Gas & Electric turning off power in Northern California (all times local):
Pacific Gas & Electric says it’s turning off the power to tens of thousands of Northern Californians to help reduce the risk of sparking a wildfire as forecasters predict a hot, dry and windy weekend.
The company says it will begin turning off the electricity Saturday morning for 1,600 customers in portions of Napa, Solano and Yolo counties west of Sacramento. The power will be out at least through the afternoon.
PG&E also says it will monitor conditions during the peak fire risk in the Sierra foothills Saturday evening. The company says if necessary, it could cut power to about 30,000 customers there.
The north and the Sierra foothills are where the state’s most destructive and deadliest wildfires occurred the last two years.
Downed PG&E power lines and sparking equipment were blamed for previous fires and the utility has been under enormous pressure to avoid another deadly blaze.
The year’s first fire danger warning in Northern California is putting Pacific Gas & Electric on alert.
The utility said starting Saturday morning, it might turn off power to thousands of customers in areas north of San Francisco and in the Sierra foothills to help reduce the risk of fire.
That’s where the state’s most destructive and deadliest wildfires occurred the last two years.
Forecasters predict hot and dry conditions starting Friday and winds blowing 15 to 30 mph, with gusts of up to 45 mph. The National Weather Service said humidity could drop to 10 percent.
The warning extends to 5 p.m. Sunday. It covers inland valleys below the 1000-foot level, where fire officials say grass and shrub have dried despite an unusually rainy May across the state.