Winds raise fire risk in California, prompting a public safety power shutoff that could affect 800 000


Winds from the same storm set bringing another round of cold air and heavy snow to the interior Northwest increase wildfire ignition threats and spread over California. As a safety precaution, electricity will be turned off for some parts of California on October 9, 10, and 11, potentially affecting at least 800 000 customers.

According to AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Anderson, winds from the north and northeast are expected to have an average speed of 24 km/h (15 mph) to 48 km/h (30 mph) with gusts of 96 km/h (60 mph) in the north to northeast facing canyons and passes. Stronger gusts are most probably over the summits and ridges.

These gusty winds pose risk in causing occasional power outages when power lines are knocked down, sparks could trigger a wildfire.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recently announced a Public Safety Power Shutoff, which could take effect on October 9, 10, and 11 to reduce the risk of fire sparks. Nearly 800 000 customers could have their power shut off across 34 counties.

"This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we’ve seen in our territory in recent years and we want our customers to be prepared for an extended outage that may last several days. Our meteorological and operations teams continue to actively monitor the weather and this evolving situation, and we are working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event," PG&E Senior Vice President Michael Lewis stated.

"We want our customers to be aware that, based on this number, it could take several days to fully restore power after the weather passes and safety inspections are completed."

AccuWeather warned that the public should be more careful during any wind event and be extra mindful of any power equipment that may emit sparks. Moreover, the combination of dry air and brush and gusty winds increases the chance of wildfire ignition.

Featured image credit: @publicpowerorg/Unsplash


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One Comment

  1. It would seem that Californians will experience what zero emission energy production feels like with the weather being below 0°C during the coming storms. Good luck and live to vote Newsance out of office.

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