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More power outages for Californians due to severe wildfires

Pacific Gas & Electric plans to turn off power to potentially 172,000 customers.

Updated: September 9, 2020 - 10:20am

California utility companies helping battle the state's massive wildfires have again been forced to cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers to prevent more blazes.

California's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, said this weekend that it had no option but to shut off power to as many as 172,000 customers as a precautionary measure.

Pacific Gas & Electric said customers in 22 counties could have their power cut to help reduce the risk of electrical lines and equipment sparking fires with the high winds. "If weather forecasts indicate gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, it may be necessary for us to turn off the electricity serving that area. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff," their website says. 

Two years ago, the deadliest wildfire in the state's history was caused by PG&E power lines, which forced the company to seek bankruptcy protection.

The state is in the peak of the wildfire season, and with the hot, dry weather, the fires continue to develop.

The rolling blackouts in the state and now power shutoffs are increasing concerns about whether utility companies are capable of keeping a reliable source of power to residents.

A statewide alert was released Monday calling on residents to conserve electricity with the above average temperatures.

California power companies have strived to become green energy leaders with double energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources, which has recently come under attack. Their mission to generate 60% of electricity from renewable resources by 2030 may end up having serious consequences on state residents.