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California utility may cut power to 1 million people

Posted at 2:13 PM, Oct 24, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric says it may cut power to some 1 million people this weekend in central and Northern California, which could see the most dangerous fire weather of the season.

PG&E says it could begin safety shutoffs Sunday morning as gusts and low humidity ramp up the risk of downing power lines and sparking massive fires in tinder-dry brush.

The shutoffs in 38 counties could last into Tuesday.

PG&E equipment has been blamed for sparking some of the most devastating fires in recent years, including a 2018 blaze in Butte County that killed 85 people. This year, wildfires already have destroyed some 9,200 buildings and killed 31 people.

Northern California officials are urging residents to leave homes in the hills, secure backyard furniture and other loose items and have an evacuation plan ready ahead of powerful winds that could lead to widespread electricity outages.