Over 800,000 California residents to lose electricity in planned power outage
CALIFORNIA - One of Northern California's major utility companies, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), has started cutting electricity to around 800,000 homes and businesses in an attempt to counter wildfires.
The company warns the shut down may last several days. With weather forecasts predicting high winds, the move is intended to prevent the risk of fallen power lines igniting the kinds of wildfires that have devastated large areas of the state in previous years.
"The conditions are ripe: dry fuel, high winds. Any spark can create a significant event," said Ray Riordan, director of the Office of Emergency Management in San Jose, during a press conference on Tuesday.
Last year, the huge "Camp Fire" in the town of Paradise burned 150,000 acres and left 86 people dead.
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