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Potential power shutoffs could impact 8,500 PG&E customers across 5 counties

The shutoffs, which could begin on Monday, Dec. 7, come as high winds combine with warm, dry conditions that make for dangerous fire weather.

A potential power shutoff from PG&E was significantly downsized over the course of two days.

The new scope of the potential shutoff is 8,500 customers across five counties. It's a drastic drop from the projected 132,000 customers across 15 counties that the utility projected on Friday afternoon.

Impacted counties include Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare, and Tuolumne. Shutoffs are likely to begin on Monday, Dec. 7.

Here's who could be impacted by a power shutoff under the new scope from PG&E.

  • Fresno County: 359 customers, 12 Medical Baseline customers
  • Madera County: 337 customers, 16 Medical Baseline customers
  • Mariposa County: 1,234 customers, 18 Medical Baseline customers
  • Tuolumne County: 6,293 customers, 297 Medical Baseline customers
  • Tulare County: 225 customers, 3 Medical Baseline customers

The potential shutoffs come as high winds combine with warm, dry conditions that make for dangerous fire weather.

View the map below to see the potentially affected areas:

Original Story:

More than 130,000 PG&E customers across 15 California counties could be without power as the energy company prepares for possible Public Safety Power Shutoffs, likely to begin on Monday, Dec. 7.

The potential shutoffs come as high winds combine with warm, dry conditions that make for dangerous fire weather.

The counties being put on alert for this round of power shutoffs includes Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Sonoma, Tulare, Tuolumne, and Yuba.

PG&E's website shows the potential outages in the yellow areas:

Credit: PG&E
Potential PG&E wildfire prevention outages as of Dec. 4, 5 p.m.

Estimated number of customers who could lose power in the Sacramento region:

  • Alpine County: 574
  • Amador County: 9,573
  • Calaveras County: 10,759
  • El Dorado County: 35,732
  • Nevada County:  25,938
  • Placer County:  24,918
  • Sierra County: 1,099
  • Tuolomne County: 10,113
  • Yuba County: 312 

PG&E power shutoffs could possibly happen in December due to strong winds and the concern for rapid fire spread. While many may consider it winter, California is seeing longer fire seasons than ever, with maybe only two months to recover (January to February).

One of the most destructive fires to burn in December was the 2017 Thomas fire. It was responsible for burning 1,063 structures in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The biggest threat during fire season is winds and the lack of rain. The fewer storms California receives, the drier it gets. But it’s not just the lack of rain. 

As low-pressure systems stay further north into Canada and the Pacific Northwest, this sets up a High pressure- Low-pressure scenario. The scenario kick starts what is known as the Santa Ana winds in southern California and Diablo winds in northern California.

Both winds come out of the east northeast. Sunday night through Tuesday morning, northern California will see strong wind gusts of 25 to 30 mph in the valley and foothills. Any spark, whether from a powerline, or person could spread rapidly.

PG&E Resources:

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WATCH ALSO: Power outage survival guide | How to prepare for a shutoff