PG&E plans to turn off power to 600,000 addresses to prevent wildfires

This is a response to a forecast for strong winds and Red Flag Warning conditions

PG&E power turn off
Areas in which PG&E expects they will turn off the power Wednesday morning, October 9, 2019.

Pacific Gas and Electric is notifying customers at 600,000 addresses that their electricity will be turned off as a proactive response to a forecast for enhanced wildfire danger. The plan is to throw the switches at 4 a.m. October 9 which could affect millions of people in nearly 30 northern, central, coastal, and Bay Area counties. Based on the latest weather forecasts and models, PG&E anticipates the period of peak winds will occur from early Wednesday morning through midday Thursday. (UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon PG&E raised the number of addresses that will have their power shut off to 800,000)

Since the company’s power lines have caused numerous wildfires in recent years, especially during windy conditions, they have decided to turn off the  power during periods of high fire danger rather than harden their infrastructure to  make it resistant to strong winds.

The weather forecast for some of the areas identified as part of this “Public Safety Power Shutoff” predicts humidity in the teens and north to northeast winds of 15 to 25 mph gusting at 40 to 50 mph beginning late Tuesday night and lasting into Thursday.

PG&E is asking customers to:

  • Update their contact information at pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-866-743-6589 during normal business hours. PG&E will use this information to alert customers through automated calls, texts, and emails, when possible, prior to, and during, a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
  • Plan for medical needs like medications that require refrigeration or devices that need power.
  • Identify backup charging methods for phones and keep hard copies of emergency numbers.
  • Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies and cash.
  • Keep in mind family members who are elderly, younger children and pets. Information and tips including a safety plan checklist are available at pge.com/wildfiresafety.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

7 thoughts on “PG&E plans to turn off power to 600,000 addresses to prevent wildfires”

  1. will these addresses be effected by the planned outage October 9th?
    2364 Grant Ave Richmond CA 94804
    154 23rd st Richmond CA 94804

    1. Hi Sheila, I’m just one of the subscribers here, but I feel safe in telling you the best way to try to determine if you could be affected is to use the PG&E contact information provided in the article. Safest bet is to prepare for an outage.
      A retired Fire Captain

  2. Ah PG&E. You spent decades ignoring the growing problems and concerns just so you could pad the bottom-line and keep the shareholders and executives happy. The chickens finally come home to roost and now you’re all concerned and paranoid and putting on 5 day blackouts (that’s what they told me to be ready for starting at midnight) just to cover your rear ends. Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of lost business, sales, and productivity for everyone else because of your inability to pay attention to maintenance and best practices for design and construction.

    I think I’m going to go completely off-grid solar.

  3. By the way, that map of outages is misleading. Power is now cut to all of Trinity and Humboldt county all the way to the coast because the main feeder line to them runs through Shasta county which is now de-energized. That’s despite most of those areas not being under red flag warnings.

  4. PG&E is the most notorious utilities company of the whole country.

    Their service , performance and charges
    won’t even survive in a third world countries. And the PUC didn’t supervise them and allowed PG&E passed the past disasters bills to all subscribers. Are we in the third world country ? CA State Government collects huge state taxes and doing nothing to regulate public utilities like PG&E.

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