PG&E may cut power to 30 counties for ‘severe wind event’

PG&E is monitoring 30 of California’s 58 counties for a potential power shut-off due to a “severe wind event” forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for the North and East bay hills, Santa Cruz Mountains, and the North Bay and East Bay valleys. The alert is for Tuesday night through Thursday. Because of dry conditions, very low humidity and gusting winds, there’s a high potential for fire danger.

PG&E announced Monday morning it is watching weather conditions in order to determine if power needs to be turned off in Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties.

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Significant winds will be coming out of the northwest, blowing from inland areas toward the ocean. These are the gusty conditions that create critical fire weather. The north to northeast winds, often called Diablo winds, will be blowing 15 to 25 mph with isolated gusts to up to 45 mph.

The shut-off warning comes just a day before the anniversary of the North Bay Fires; the destructive series of wildfires sparked on Oct. 8, 2017.

For the latest on PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs, visit their site.

SFGATE digital reporter Amy Graff contributed to this report. 

Katie Dowd is an SFGATE Senior Digital Manager. Email: | Twitter: @katiedowd

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