Prevent Fires, California Power Company May Cut Power

Power company Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said it may turn off power to about 44,000 of its customers in California from Monday (11/10) due to dry and strong winds that hit the region that could increase the risk of catching electrical appliances.

The National Weather Service issued an extreme fire hazard warning starting Sunday evening (10/10), when sea breezes were forecast to form across northern and central California. The warning was extended to Tuesday evening (12/10) and the strongest winds are expected on Monday (11/10).

Strong winds, coupled with dry vegetation, could increase the risk of trees falling on power lines and triggering forest fires, PG&E said.

The power company began deliberately turning off electricity in the fall of 2019 to prevent forest fires, after investigations showed that the Camp fire incident that devoured the city of Paradise was triggered by an electrical device.

The company filed for bankruptcy and pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the 2018 fire.

The company is also facing a number of criminal charges for fires caused by faulty equipment, including an involuntary manslaughter charge filed last month in connection with a bushfire near the city of Redding last year that killed four people. (vm/rs)

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