PG&E warns California customers it could shut off power to prevent wildfires

Firefighter shortage sparks wildfire worries

FOX Business’ Connell McShane reports from Morrison, CO amid a series of wildfires plaguing western states.

Utility firm Pacific Gas & Electric warned some customers in Northern California that it may have to "proactively turn off power for safety" this week amid weather conditions that increased the risk of wildfires in the region.

PG&E said the power shutoff could affect about 48,000 customers from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon. The company cited a "dry offshore wind event" as the catalyst for its decision.

"As a result of this wind event, combined with extreme to exceptional drought conditions and extremely dry vegetation, PG&E began sending one-day advance notifications Monday afternoon to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn off power for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines," the company said in a notice on its website.

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About 31,000 affected customers live in Butte and Shasta counties, according to the notice.

PG&E has faced intense scrutiny from government regulators in recent years due to the role faulty equipment has played in sparking wildfires. The company filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing an estimated $30 billion in wildfire liabilities at the time.

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Last month, PG&E informed state officials that its equipment may have been responsible for the massive Dixie wildfire, which has yet to be contained. The fire had burned more than 560,000 acres as of Monday, according to local reports.

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