New PG&E policy may cut off electricity to Bay Area customers during high fire danger

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- PG&E is warning Bay Area customers about a new policy that may cut off your electricity when the weather creates extreme fire danger.

The areas in red on a CPUC map of the Bay Area are the ones PG&E is worried about.

They cover parts of the North Bay, Peninsula, Santa Cruz County and the East Bay.

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PG&E has sent a letter to customers in these extreme high fire danger zones. It says when winds are high and conditions are ripe, the utility may cut off power temporarily, a pre-emptive strike to prevent wildfires.

"Forty eight hours in advance of us possibly shutting off the power, we would notify the customers. And then 24 hours in advance of us possibly shutting off the power, we'll notify customers again," Deanna Contreras said.

This is one of PG&E's new solutions in the wake of Cal Fire's finding that the utility is responsible for many of last October's devastating wildfires that killed more than 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

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The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is in an affected zone on the CPUC map and Cal's Memorial Stadium is right on the edge. Of course, they have their own generators. But keep in mind, there are homes in those hills as well.

PG&E told ABC7 News it understands there are implications. For some people, it is a health and safety concern, when power goes out. The utility company promises not to pull the plug lightly.

For more stories, photos, and video on the North Bay fires, visit this page.

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