AP NEWS

The Latest: PG&E cuts power to 24,000 customers

September 24, 2019
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FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018 file photo, with a downed power utility pole in the foreground, Eric England, right, searches through a friend's vehicle after the wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif. Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to pay $11 billion to a group of insurance companies representing most of the claims from Northern California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 as the company tries to emerge from bankruptcy, the utility announced Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
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FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018 file photo, with a downed power utility pole in the foreground, Eric England, right, searches through a friend's vehicle after the wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif. Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to pay $11 billion to a group of insurance companies representing most of the claims from Northern California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 as the company tries to emerge from bankruptcy, the utility announced Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on expected power shut-offs in Northern California (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric has shut off power to 24,000 customers in the Sierra Nevada foothills and says it will remain off until dangerous wildfire weather eases.

The utility shut off electricity Monday night to customers in Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties to prevent gusty winds from downing lines and sparking a blaze.

PG&E transmission lines were blamed for a Butte County wildfire last November that killed 86 people and nearly destroyed the town of Paradise.

With hot, dry, windy weather forecast, the outages may continue into Tuesday or could even expand into El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties.

Power won’t be restored after until crews inspect lines to make sure they’re safe.

Meanwhile, with Santa Ana winds on the way, Southern California Edison is considering proactively shutting off power to 41,000 customers.

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7:10 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric is shutting off power to 27,500 people in Northern California to reduce the risk of wildfires in the face of hot, dry weather and gusty winds that could knock down power lines.

The utility announced Monday evening that it’s turning off the electricity for customers in Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties in the Sierra Nevada. The power will stay off until conditions are safer — which could be several days.

Strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures are forecast in the region through Wednesday.

More than 9,000 customers affected by the PG&E shutoff are in Butte County, where the utility’s power lines were blamed for a wildfire last year that killed 86 people and virtually destroyed the town of Paradise.

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison is considering proactively shutting off power to 41,000 customers.

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2:20 p.m.

Southern California Edison is considering proactively shutting off power to 41,000 customers to minimize the threat of wildfires amid forecasts of gusty Santa Ana winds.

The utility quadrupled the size of the potential shutdown Monday after initially estimating just over 10,000 customers could be impacted.

Major increases are focused on San Bernardino and Riverside counties in the inland region. Power cuts could also occur to the west in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric has significantly scaled down potential pre-emptive outages to about 21,000 customers — about a fifth of the original estimate.

The utilities are trying to avoid disastrous fires linked to power infrastructure being damaged during windy, dry conditions.

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1:15 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric says it could cut power Monday evening to about 21,000 customers in an area of Northern California that suffered the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history last year.

Forecasters have warned of hot, dry and windy conditions that increase fire danger and issued extreme fire danger warnings in the Sierra Foothills.

The shut-offs will affect customers in Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties beginning at 5 p.m. But the utility said on Twitter Monday that it canceled a warning affected six more populated counties.

Some of the devastating blazes in the past two years were started by Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines.

Strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures were forecast in the region through Wednesday.

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12:45 p.m.

Pacific Gas & Electric says it could cut power to customers in some areas of Northern California counties Monday evening because of hot, dry and windy conditions that increase fire danger.

But the utility says on Twitter that it has canceled a warning affecting three wine country areas: Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

The utility had warned of power shut-offs to an estimated 124,000 customers. The utility says it still expects a shut off for areas of the Sierra Foothills starting at 5 p.m. but did not immediately give an updated figure on how many customers would be affected.

Some of the devastating blazes in the past two years were started by Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines.

Strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures were forecast in the region through Wednesday.

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This item has been corrected to show that Pacific Gas & Electric is still monitoring areas of Northern California to assess whether power will be shut off, not that there are plans to cut it off.

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4:30 a.m.:

Pacific Gas & Electric may cut power to more than 100,000 California customers because of hot, dry and windy conditions even as it settles claims from the deadly Northern California wildfires of 2017 and 2018.

The San Francisco utility will make the decision before noon Monday on whether it will cut power. The controlled outages in nine northern counties would occur later in the day.

Earlier this month, PG&E agreed to pay $11 billion to insurance companies holding 85% of the insurance claims from fires that include the November 2018 blaze that destroyed the town of Paradise, killing 86 people.

The settlement confirmed Monday is subject to bankruptcy court approval.