PG&E says it will not shut off power in NorCal

Lodi News-Sentinel - - PAGE TWO - By Vin­cent Moleski

PG&E an­nounced Thurs­day that it would not be pre­emp­tively shut­ting off power to North­ern Cal­i­for­nia res­i­dents in re­sponse to high fire-risk con­di­tions, a shift af­ter two days of an­nounce­ments warn­ing cus­tomers of the po­ten­tial for power loss.

PG&E be­gan no­ti­fy­ing 70,000 cus­tomers Tues­day that it might shut off power in parts of eight North­ern Cal­i­for­nia coun­ties where fast-mov­ing, gusty winds in­creased the like­li­hood of wild­fires af­ter a Red Flag Warn­ing was is­sued for the area, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease is­sued by the San Fran­cisco-based util­ity.

“We want to thank our cus­tomers for their un­der­stand­ing and for their ac­tions in prepa­ra­tion of a pos­si­ble pub­lic safety power shut­off. We know how much our cus­tomers rely on elec­tric ser­vice, and we will only con­sider tem­po­rar­ily turn­ing off power in the in­ter­est of safety and as a last re­sort dur­ing ex­treme weather con­di­tions to re­duce the risk of wild­fire,” PG&E se­nior vice pres­i­dent of Elec­tric Op­er­a­tions Pat Ho­gan said in the re­lease.

Power has been lost in ar­eas of Butte County af­ter a mas­sive, rapidly grow­ing wild­fire started ear­lier in the day. As of 1 p.m., 34,000 house­holds in Butte County were with­out power, some due to shut­offs re­quested by fire per­son­nel, but most was caused by fire dam­age, PG&E spokes­woman Lynsey Paulo said.

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