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PG&E shutting off power in North Bay cities

Utility says fire risk is too great; blackouts set for 4:30 p.m.

Power poles and wires on blue sky background. Photo via Shutterstock

On Tuesday, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it will shut off service Wednesday to nearly 50,000 customers in Northern California, including in some parts of the North Bay, in response to ongoing wildfire risks.

The utility’s public announcement reads, in part: “A Public Safety Power Shutoff is necessary for approximately 48,200 customers in the North Bay and Sierra Foothill regions due to continued hot, dry and windy weather conditions.”

Blackouts will start at 2:30 a.m. in the Sierras and 4:30 a.m. in the Bay Area.

North Bay power-downs include areas in and around Calistoga, Like Berryessa, and Napa in Napa County, and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County.

In all, the service suspension will affect a little over 1,400 households in the North Bay, divided almost equally between the two counties, with the majority of the blackout affecting regions to the north.

To see if your addresses lies within a region likely to lose power, the utility provides a potential outage map.

The announcement says that PG&E will probably restore power “within 24 to 48 hours after the dry and windy weather has passed.”

Presently, the National Weather Service predicts that fire hazard conditions will persist through Wednesday, with a Red Flag Warning in effect for much of the north part of the state and the Bay Area until 7:00 P.M.

This is only the second time PG&E has ever pulled the plug in response to wildfire risk, part of its new suite of anti-fire measures. The first-ever power shutoff was Monday in some areas of Butte, Nevada, and Yuba County.