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Northern California to see elevated chance of Public Safety Power Shutoff, PG&E says

Vincent Moleski, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in News & Features

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- PG&E customers should be wary of a possible power shutoff later in the week, as the utility forecast an elevated chance of pre-planned blackouts on Wednesday and Thursday.

In its seven-day weather forecast, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said parts of Northern California may see hazardous wildfire conditions, resulting in an increased likelihood that it will implement a public safety power shutoff.

PG&E forecasts strong north winds Wednesday and Thursday, hitting the northern Sierra Nevada and the North Coast with fast-moving gusts.

"There is still considerable uncertainty regarding the strength, timing and humidity levels with this system. Expect some changes in the forecast moving forward," PG&E said in its forecast. "Most of northern and central California has not received any significant precipitation this fall and fire potential is well above normal as live fuel moisture remains below critical values for mid-November and dead fuel moisture is at historically low levels in many areas."

The National Weather Service predicted a mostly dry system, moving into Northern California late Tuesday, which could bring gusty winds Wednesday and Thursday.

The NWS predicted wind gusts of 38 miles per hour in Red Bluff and Redding, 33 mph in Fairfield and 24 at Donner Pass.

PG&E forecasters said wind gusts of more than 50 mph are possible across the Sacramento Valley.


As of Sunday, no formal announcements regarding a possible PSPS had been made by the company, and no power shutoffs were definitively scheduled.

Late last month, PG&E turned off the lights in hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Northern California amid a major windstorm.

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