A massive planned power outage that could affect millions in Northern and Central California is sparking frustration and skepticism in some areas over whether the extreme action is the best way to reduce fire risk.
Pacific Gas & Electric began turning off the power at midnight to an expected 800,000 customers to reduce the risk of wildfires because of windy conditions. Some of California’s worst blazes have been sparked by power lines, including last year’s Paradise fire and the 2017 wine country fires.
But such a widespread shutdown has some questioning whether PG&E is going too far.
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), whose district lies within the blackout area, acknowledged there is a fire danger that requires the shutting down of some power lines, but he called the extent of the possible outage troubling.
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