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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced that the company will turn off power to approximately 26,900 customers in the Sierra Foothills Saturday night and has started safety inspections for 1,600 customers in the North Bay whose power was turned off early Saturday morning.
Public Safety Power Shutoff Being Executed for Sierra Foothills at Approximately 9:00 p.m.
As part of the second wave of dry and windy weather conditions across Northern California, PG&E continues to monitor extreme weather conditions in the Sierra Foothills. Customers in portions of Butte, Yuba, Nevada, El Dorado and Placer counties have been notified by PG&E that they will have their power turned off for safety on Saturday, June 8 at approximately 9:00 pm. This Public Safety Power Shutoff event will impact about 26,900 customers. Forecasts for the extreme weather conditions are expected to last through noon on Sunday, June 9.
Areas where power will be shut off:
- Butte County: Portions of Paradise, Oroville, Bangor, Forest Ranch, Chico, Berry Creek, Palermo
- Yuba County: Portions of Browns Valley, Oregon House, Marysville, Wheatland, Rackerby
- Nevada County: Portions of Auburn, Grass Valley, Smartville, Rough and Ready, Penn Valley
- El Dorado County: Portions of Pilot Hill, Greenwood, Georgetown, Cool
- Placer County: Portions of Lincoln
PG&E will be contacting customers soon by phone, email and text.
“Our Wildfire Safety Operations Center continues to monitor the weather in the Sierra Foothills and throughout our service area. We want to make sure all of our customers in these areas are prepared for a Public Safety Power Shutoff by updating their contact information with PG&E, having a personal safety plan and reviewing their emergency kits. We ask customers and the public prioritize their personal safety,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’ s senior vice president of Electric Operations.
How Our Customers Can Prepare
As part of preparedness efforts for potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs, PG&E asks customers to:
- Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
- Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
- Build or restock emergency kits with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
- Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.
Customer Notifications for Public Safety Power Shutoffs
PG&E will attempt to contact customers who live in these communities via telephone, text and email.
Customers can access a live outage map at pge.com/outages and learn more about the latest updates on Public Safety Power Shutoff at pge.com/pspsupdates. PG&E is working directly with CAL FIRE, Cal OES, and other state and local agencies to help prepare for this safety event.
As part of these preparedness efforts, PG&E has asked customers to:
- Learn whether their home or business is in or near a high fire-threat area on the CPUC High Fire-Threat District map. Customers also can visit pge.com/wildfiresafety to enter their address and find out if their home or business is served by an electric line that may be turned off for safety during high wildfire threats.
- Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers in advance of turning off their electric service for safety, when and where possible.
- Prepare for and practice an emergency plan to keep themselves, their families and/or employees emergency-ready and safe during an outage. Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.
PG&E remains committed to providing notice to customers in advance of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, when possible. The company’s goal, dependent on weather, is to send customer alerts prior to shutting off power. PG&E will do so through automated calls, texts and emails. The company will also use pge.com and social media channels and keep local news and radio outlets informed and updated.
PG&E Crews Begin Safe Restoration of 1,600 Customers Impacted by PSPS Event
PG&E has begun safety patrols and inspections of electric infrastructure in select areas of Napa, Solano and Yolo Counties where it proactively turned power off for safety to approximately 1,600 customers at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday morning.
PG&E crews must patrol the area and inspect the electric infrastructure prior to power being restored. This process begins as soon as the extreme weather had passed, and it is safe to do so. Inspections take place during daylight hours and, in most cases, PG&E expects to be able to restore power within 24 to 48 hours after the extreme weather has passed, though weather conditions or repairs may impact restoration times.
“Now that the first wave of extreme weather in the North Bay has passed, our crews are in the process of inspecting the power lines and equipment to ensure it is safe to restore power. We appreciate our customers’ and the public’s patience as we work through this important safety step in the restoration process,” said Lewis.
Public Safety Power Shutoff Criteria
No single factor drives a Public Safety Power Shutoff, as each situation is unique. PG&E carefully reviews a combination of many criteria when determining if power should be turned off for safety. These factors generally include, but are not limited to:
- A Red Flag Warning declared by the National Weather Service
- Low humidity levels, generally 20 percent and below
- Forecasted sustained winds generally above 25 mph and wind gusts in excess of approximately 45 mph, depending on location and site-specific conditions such as temperature, terrain and local climate
- Condition of dry fuel on the ground and live vegetation (moisture content)
- On-the-ground, real-time observations from PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center and observations from PG&E field crews