Hot, dry weather increases wildfire risk prompting PG&E power shutoff advisory starting Monday

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Pacific Gas and Electric has issued an advisory for Public Power Safety Shutoffs in much of the Bay Area, beginning Monday and Tuesday of next week.

"To be clear, a Public Safety Power Shutoff event has not been called," said PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras. However, because of predicted hot, windy, and dry conditions, the utility's Wildfire Safety Operations Center describes the potential status as, "Elevated."

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It is a matter of enough concern that the Santa Rosa Fire Department tweeted notice of the threat. "We asked for PG&E for the earliest notifications possible, " said Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal. "They followed through."

It constitutes the first such advisory in Sonoma County, this year. Late season rains and wetter grass than usual appear to have reduced the number of fires, but with fall comes elevated risk.

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There has been one Public Safety Power Shutoff in 2019. On June 7, PG&E cut power to 1,700 customers in Napa, Yolo and Solano Counties.

"While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected by a Public Safety Power Shutoff event, any of PG&E's more than five million electric customers could have their power shut off because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions," PG&E noted.
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