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Blackouts possible again as fire danger looms in California


Added 10-22-19 11:04:03am EST - “Less than two weeks after blacking out much of Northern California, the state's largest utility is warning that dangerous fire weather could prompt it to shut off power to about a half-million people. Pacific Gas & Electric began…” - News.yahoo.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From News.yahoo.com: “Blackouts possible again as fire danger looms in California”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Less than two weeks after blacking out much of Northern California, the state's largest utility is warning that dangerous fire weather could prompt it to shut off power to about a half-million people.

Pacific Gas & Electric began notifying customers Monday that it could begin precautionary shutoffs to parts of 16 counties as early as Wednesday, mostly in the Sierra foothills and to the north of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The utility is concerned that winds forecast to hit 60 mph (97 kph) at times could throw branches and debris into power lines or topple them, sparking wildfires. PG&E equipment has been blamed for igniting several of California's deadliest and most destructive fires in recent years and the utility, facing billions in potential claims, was forced into bankruptcy.

A huge portion of California is under high fire risk amid unpredictable gusts and soaring temperatures. At least three homes were damaged or destroyed Monday evening by wind-whipped flames in a mountain community near San Bernardino in inland Southern California. Earlier in the day Los Angeles firefighters beat back a blaze as it raced up canyon walls toward multimillion-dollar ocean-view homes on a coastal ridge.

"This could be one of our most critical weeks of the fall season for fire weather due to very warm temperatures and bouts of Santa Ana winds," the National Weather Service said in a statement.

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