Northern California Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has shut off electricity to nearly 60,000 customers, fearing that predicted wind speeds could fuel another wildfire in Northern California.
In its notification to customers, PG&E states, (we are) “implementing additional precautionary measures to help reduce the risk of wildfires. For public safety, it may be necessary for us to turn off electricity to communities in high fire-threat areas when extreme fire danger conditions occur.
The notification continues, “We know how important electric service is to our customers. We will only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety, and as a last resort. In the event that we do need to turn off electricity due to extreme fire danger conditions, we will attempt to notify you in advance.”
Over the weekend, PG&E warned customers in 12 counties that the shut off might go into effect. They encouraged customers to have drinking water, canned food, flashlights, prescriptions, and baby supplies on hand.
According to the Associated Press, the shutdown comes after officials announced earlier this month that two sagging PG&E power lines caused a Northern California wildfire that killed four people and injured a firefighter last year.
The power company has been blamed for igniting 13 wildfires last year.