Friday, September 17, 2021

California utilities cut power to 51,000 customers under dangerous wildfire conditions

The largest U.S. utility company announced on Tuesday night that it had begun shutting down the electricity supply to approximately 51,000 customers after a fire caused by a violent wind swept through a small forest town in Northern California.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said in a press release that it decided to prevent wind from blowing down or contaminating power lines and triggering new fires, citing “dry sea winds, extreme to abnormal drought conditions and extremely dry vegetation.”

The company said there will be power outages in a small part of the 18 counties in northern California, including the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, North Coast, North Valley and North Bay Mountains.

“Under these high winds and extremely dry weather conditions, we focus on the safety of our customers and communities. Turning off the power for safety is never an easy decision, but to ensure everyone’s safety, this is the right approach,” PG&E Marlene Santos, executive vice president and chief customer officer, said in a statement.

The press release stated that the company expects “full clearance” to occur around Wednesday afternoon.

“We understand the destructiveness and inconvenience caused by power outages. The sole focus of PSPS [Public Safety Power Shutoff] It is to ensure the safety of our customers. Once this extreme weather has passed, our staff will inspect our equipment and the surrounding vegetation, and repair and restore power as soon as possible under safe conditions,” Santos added.

Due to the Caldo fire, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Eldorado County. The Caldo fire tripled from Monday to Tuesday afternoon, reaching nearly 50 square miles (129 square kilometers).

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Fire spokesman Chris Vistar said that about 2,500 people were ordered and warned to evacuate due to the fire, which almost tripled overnight.

Gavin Newsom
On August 17, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom (center) meets with Cal Fire officials at Big Basin Redwoods State Park near Boulder Creek, California. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)
Western wildfire
Western wildfire
On August 17, 2021, after the Caldor Fire destroyed the Grizzly Apartments in California, a charred property can be seen from String Canyon Road. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

Authorities said On Tuesday, the two were “seriously injured” by the fire. At least one was severely burned and required an air ambulance.

In the north, the Dixie Fire-the largest of approximately 100 active wildfires in more than a dozen western states-is advancing towards Susanville with a population of approximately 18,000.

Epoch Times Photos
Epoch Times Photos
The Dixie fire burns on the hills near Milford, California on August 17, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Dixie Fire has destroyed at least 600 homes and is the largest major wildfire in the western states of the United States. These states have experienced historic droughts and weeks of high temperature and dry weather, making trees, bushes and grasslands as easy as fire. Burn.

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Since July 13, this fire has destroyed more than 940 square miles (2,434 square kilometers) of land in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Ranges, and eventually merged with a smaller fire. It is less than one-third.

The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen

Isabel van Brugen

reporter

Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and is currently a journalist for The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s degree in newspaper journalism from City College, University of London.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

California utilities cut power to 51,000 customers under dangerous wildfire conditions
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