PG&E to shut off power for some Calif. communities over fire risk

Sparks from rancher's hammer ignited California's largest wildfire

California's largest wildfire was ignited by sparks from a hammer

The largest electric utility in California, Pacific Gas and Electric, said it plans to shut off power to multiple communities in the Sierra Foothills Saturday as a pre-emptive measure to avoid sparking a wildfire.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) discusses how PG&E filed for bankruptcy following the California wildfires and how California lawmakers traveled to Hawaii with utility executives a year ago, while the wildfires destroyed parts of The Golden State. The company says if necessary, it could cut power to about 30,000 customers there.

Public Safety Power Shutoff Being Executed for Sierra Foothills at Approximately 9:00 p.m. PG&E will be contacting customers soon by phone, email and text.

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The blaze started July 17, 2018, in Mendocino County and quickly spread, aided by dry vegetation, strong winds and hot temperatures.

When the threat of severe weather is over, the company said it'll send out teams to inspect the power lines. It burned 153,336 acres and destroyed 18,804 structures, CAL FIRE said.

PG&E said this year it would significantly expand the practice of shutting off power to communities at risk of wildfire when conditions demand it, despite objections from some consumer advocates who said such disruptions can harm vulnerable people such as those who need electricity for medical equipment.

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That followed the state's deadliest and most destructive wildfire, the Camp Fire.

Cal Fire officials said the Potter Valley rancher created the spark when the hammer hit a metal stake near the nest, which set ablaze a bed of waist-high grassland, the Los Angeles Times reported.

ORIGINAL: Parts of Western Nevada County have been issued a Red Flag Warning, the highest alert for fire danger, by the National Weather Service (NWS) starting at 6:00 a.m. Saturday, June 8th, through 5:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9th.

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