Utility Shuts Off Power for Thousands in NorCal Amid Extreme Fire Weather

Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews work to restore power near fire-damaged Cardinal Newman High School on Oct. 14, 2017 in Santa Rosa. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company crews work to restore power near fire-damaged Cardinal Newman High School on Oct. 14, 2017 in Santa Rosa. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Extreme fire weather conditions prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to shut off power to thousands of customers in Northern California ahead of strong winds forecast in the region on Sunday night.

B​y late Sunday, it had shut off power to more than 17,000 customers in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties. An additional 70,000 customers in the Sierra foothills could lose power, including the counties of Butte, Sierra, Placer, Nevada, El Dorado, Amador, Plumas, Calaveras and Yuba.

The move is part of a strategy by utilities across California to reduce the risk of wildfires sparked by utility lines that break during extreme winds. Many of California’s most destructive fires — including several that raced through wine country last year — were attributed to power lines.

Other utilities including San Diego Gas & Electric have shut off power during extreme winds in local areas, but the PG&E warning covers a vast area of Northern California — mainly in the Sierra foothills and the North Bay.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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