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Major Utility Provider Cuts Thousands Of Customers’ Power To Prevent Wildfires From Breaking Out

Major utilities shut off power to parts of California on Tuesday morning in response to the risk of wildfires.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Warned The company said Monday that weather conditions could cause power outages in parts of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday. Announced The company said Tuesday morning it had cut power to about 2,000 customers to protect against the increased risk of wildfires caused by dry, gusty and warming conditions.

“Early Tuesday morning, PG&E shut off power to approximately 2,000 customers across a small area of ​​eight counties and one tribal community as a safety measure,” the company said in a notice Tuesday morning. “These customers were notified in advance of the potential outages. [Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)] event.” (Related article: Judge criticizes PG&E over wildfires: 'Global warming is not causing these fires')

The company has proactively contacted potentially affected customers in preparation for possible power outages.

“PG&E has delayed the start of the PSPS event for approximately 10,000 additional customers, primarily in Glenn and Shasta counties, due to favorable weather,” the company said in a notice Tuesday morning. “PG&E is continuously monitoring weather conditions and will update customers on the status of PSPS events in their areas as they occur.”

California is set to experience higher temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday, with temperatures reaching triple digits in some areas, PG&E said Monday. The company is concerned that rising temperatures could further overheat an already strained power infrastructure as people try to stay cool and, combined with dry, windy weather, pose a risk of wildfires.

A large wildfire is currently burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills in the Fresno area, the Mercury News reports. report Monday.

PG&E has suffered heavy losses from wildfires before: The company was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2019 after being sued and fined for wildfires sparked by its equipment.

More recently, downed power lines and weather conditions sparked a fire on Maui in August 2023 that claimed more than 100 lives and was likely exacerbated by some baffling decisions by elected and unelected officials.

Beyond its involvement in the wildfires, California's power grid has drawn national attention for the high electricity bills faced by customers: The state had the highest residential and commercial electricity rates of any neighboring state in April. according to The costs are being driven by California's extensive regulatory regime and the government's efforts to reduce emissions, according to a report in the U.S. Energy Information Administration. dedication The goal is to generate 100% of electricity from green energy by 2045.

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