California may see 3rd blackout amid fire fears

PG&E may pull plug on 600K+ Californians

Following the deadly Camp Fire, which was sparked by PG&E transmission lines, the utility has started implementing preemptive power shutoffs when three weather conditions coincide: temperatures climb above 80 degrees, humidity dips below 20% and winds blow stronger than 25 miles per hour. The utility expects power to return to some locations starting at noon Thursday, but it could take as much as five days to restore electricity to all affected areas.

"The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state", reads the October 8 press release.

PG&E said Monday the blackout would include parts of seven of nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. According to San Francisco's ABC affiliate, the power cuts would begin early Wednesday and last through Thursday midday, the utility said, which is when wind gusts and dry air are expected across the already dry region, raising the likelihood that a wildfire could be ignited.

The California Department of Transportation has been working with the utility company to secure backup power generators to keep the Caldecott Tunnel in Contra Costa and Alameda counties and the Tom Lantos Tunnel in Pacifica open, spokesman Bart Ney told CNN.

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In May, state fire investigators determined that PG&E transmission lines caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, the wind-driven Camp Fire that killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise previous year. City staff urged local PG&E customers to sign up for alerts and notifications on their electricity situation. CCHS will continue to provide services during the outage. That process can not begin until the severe weather event has subsided.

Parts of Humboldt County may be without power as part of a massive PG&E shutdown across the northern part of the state starting as early as midnight due to gusty winds and dry conditions.

"42,374 Kern County PG&E customers may lose power as a result of this weather event". However, customers not impacted by the PSPS may experience power outages due to PG&E equipment damaged during this major wind event; those customers will not be notified in advance.

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