Updated Nov. 8, 4 p.m.
PG&E has determined that it will not proceed with plans today for a Public Safety Power Shutoff in portions of 8 Northern CA counties, as weather conditions did not warrant this safety measure. We want to thank our customers for their understanding. https://t.co/JNFizEQwyl pic.twitter.com/18rzv8RCLx— Paul Moreno (@PGE_Paul) November 8, 2018
Note: This story was updated to reflect that PG&E has removed Sonoma County from the list of counties that could be impacted.
PG&E says it may proactively cut-off electricity to 69,000 customers in parts of eight Northern California counties Thursday as a safety precaution against wildfires. The move follows a controversial three-day power blackout for 60,000 customers last month due to fire danger.
The utility says the strong winds and low humidity expected Wednesday night into Friday create a high fire risk. So this week lights may go out in nine counties, affecting portions of Butte, Lake, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, and Yuba counties. The National Weather Service says warm temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds are forecast for those areas from Wednesday night to Friday morning.
PG&E spokesperson Kristi Jourdan said it’s not a decision the company makes lightly.
“Strong winds can actually knock trees into power lines and that can actually spark a fire," Jourdan said. "And so we what we want to do is make sure that we’re coordinating efforts to make sure to reduce the risk of wildfire.”
PG&E says notices are being sent to customers via automated voice, text messages and emails.
It says it will turn off power as a last resort.
If power is shutoff, it would be the second time in the company's history they’ve taken such precautions. Last time, the company drew criticism for not giving customers adequate warning.