Fires

PG&E restores all power to Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties shut off for fire conditions

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said Sunday afternoon that power has been fully restored to more than 10,000 customers in Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties who were interrupted by Saturday’s power shutoff amid now-canceled red flag conditions after the utility’s crews were able to inspect lines.

Company spokeswoman Karly Hernandez said power was restored to all customers around 3:45 p.m. The utility interrupted power Saturday night as gusty winds were forecast to sweep across the region. Paradise and Magalia, two of the hardest-hit towns in last year’s deadly Camp Fire, were included in the blackout.

In a news release, PG&E said weather conditions had improved overnight, and as of 9 a.m., 168 personnel and 11 helicopters were canvassing 954 miles of power lines to check for damage.

The National Weather Service’s red flag warning was canceled at noon, as conditions around the region improved. However, the weather service issued a new fire weather advisory for the same areas of Northern California for Tuesday and Wednesday.

PG&E opened resource centers in Oroville and Magalia to provide water, restrooms, charging stations and air conditioning to a limited number of customers affected by the outages until power is restored.

“We are working to restore power as soon as it is safe to do so. In most cases, we would expect to be able to restore power within 24 to 48 hours after weather has passed,” Hernandez said Sunday morning in an email to The Sacramento Bee. “Each situation will be somewhat different, just like each day’s weather. It’s important for all customers to have an emergency plan to be prepared for any extended outages due to extreme weather or natural disasters.”

Saturday’s power shutoff was the third preemptive PG&E blackout in rural Northern California since Sept. 23. The Camp Fire, which started last November in Butte County and killed 85 people, was sparked by a downed PG&E power line in dry brush.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
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