Power Cut to Thousands to Reduce California Wildfire Risk

Power was shut off for nearly 800,000 customers in northern and central California in an attempt to reduce the risk of wildfires in the area on Wednesday, October 9, utility company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) said.

The National Weather Service said on Wednesday that gusty wind and low humidity led to “extremely critical” fire conditions for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and “critical” conditions in several other areas.

Police in Vacaville, in Northern California, said estimated sustained winds of 45 mph, with isolated 70 mph gusts, were possible.

The shutoff came as the Briceburg Fire burned in central California, consuming 3,600 acres with 10 percent containment as of Wednesday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

This video, taken on Wednesday, shows a darkened grocery store in Vacaville.

The Vacaville Police Department said a resource center would be open to provide residents with water, electricity, and an air-conditioned seating space for about 100 people.

A specific power restoration time was not listed by PG&E, but it noted outages could last longer than two days. Credit: eric1985elcamino via Storyful