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As the Dixie fire continues to rage, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced it could cut power for roughly 39,000 residents across 16 counties in Northern California on Tuesday night to reduce the risk of wildfires from energized power lines.

Strong southwest winds are expected to arrive in the northern part of the state beginning Monday, colliding with searing temperatures and parched vegetation — a cocktail of conditions known to stoke extreme fire behavior.

A red flag warning for the Dixie fire burn area will go into effect at 3 p.m. Monday and last through 10 p.m. Tuesday, with gusts expected to top out at 35 mph Tuesday. Temperatures will hover in the mid-90s, potentially hitting the low triple-digits in some areas.

PG&E has said its equipment may have sparked the massive Dixie fire, which broke out July 13 near the spot where a tree fell into the utility’s power line, as well as another blaze that later merged with the Dixie fire. According to the utility, it took a worker about 10 hours to reach the remote site and observe flames.

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