Update on fire-related power shutoffs in California

UPDATED at 12:22 p.m. PDT October 10, 2019

Recently updated information about Pacific Gas and Electric’s preemptive power shutoff for much of Northern California includes additional locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and the north coast near Eureka (see map above). This brings the total number of PG&E addresses affected to 800,000, which could translate to approximately two to four million residents.

PG&E power shutoffs California
PG&E power shutoffs in Northern California, October 10, 2019.

Below is a zoomed-in map showing the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

PG&E power shutoffs California
PG&E power shutoffs in the Bay Area of California, October 10, 2019.

According to PG&E they have been turning off the power during periods of high wildfire danger since 2013, never before at this magnitude.

San Diego Gas and Electric was one of the pioneers in turning off the power to their customers when the wind blows and has been doing it  for years.

“Moderate Santa Ana winds are expected to sweep through our region starting Thursday and peak on Friday morning, bringing elevated wildfire danger to the backcountry and the potential for Public Safety Power Shutoffs,” SDG&E said in a press release.

About  34,000 SDG&E customers have been notified their electricity may be turned off (see map below).

SDG&E turn off power wind
SDG&E says the areas in yellow could experience public safety power outages during the wind event that will hit San Diego County Thursday and Friday. (SDG&E map updated October 9, 2019.)

And in the Los Angeles area:

The fire danger in Northern California is expected to decrease on Friday but remain elevated in the south part  of the state.

Predicted fire weather for October 10, 2019
Predicted fire weather for Thursday October 10, 2019.
Predicted fire weather for October 11, 2019
Predicted fire weather for October 11, 2019.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Update on fire-related power shutoffs in California”

  1. It feels like PG&E is playing Chicken with the state: “Help us financially and reduce our liability, or we will just keep doing this and doing this.”

  2. Like many of the affected folks, I’m a bit annoyed with PG&E. The power is back on here now and while I was only mildly inconvenienced (not much perishable food to spoil as it happened, filled up with gas days ago, and tons of camping equipment/food to survive on for a couple of weeks at least) it is putting a big monkeywrench into my schedule because of the closures. Those repercussions will carry for the next month or so trying to make up for the lost time.

    And here in Eureka, it wasn’t even necessary. Yes, I understand there’s a feeder line that was de-energized because it passed through Redding, but there’s a local power plant on Humboldt Bay that they completely re-did with new on-demand generators a few years ago and they wouldn’t even use it to supply electricity locally. And Eureka was never even on a Fire Weather Watch, much less a Red Flag Warning.

  3. I believe that it is a flexing of the electric company’s muscles!! Instead of putting the communities at risk for OTHER PROBLEMS, such as crime, senior citizens DEATHS they should use the money they make to repair the power line instead of lining their pockets!! During this potential crisis they took down their web site showing were potential power will be turned off!!


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