California

Power fully restored in Sierra foothills to customers affected by PG&E fire risk shutdown

California lawmakers end efforts to reduce PG&E’s liability for wildfires

California lawmakers had the chance to reduce PG&E's liability for wildfires, but chose not to continue with the efforts.
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California lawmakers had the chance to reduce PG&E's liability for wildfires, but chose not to continue with the efforts.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. fully restored electricity to the final 1,602 households in the Sierra foothills at 9 p.m. Tuesday after nearly 60,000 had their power turned off Sunday due to high winds as a wildfire precaution.

At 6 p.m. most affected customers in Northern California were back online, with only a few pockets of controlled outages, according to PG&E spokesperson Brandi Merlo. The outage had affected customers in swaths of Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Napa and Sonoma County since Sunday night.

Power shutoffs began on Sunday and affected approximately 59,000 ratepayers, according to PG&E’s website.

Cal Fire authorities said PG&E’s power lines and failed power poles were to blame for several large and deadly wildfires last October.

In a statement released on Monday, Cal Fire said it was not involved in the decision to shut off power to Northern California and would only request a utility to do so in the case of an active wildfire.

Consumer advocacy groups have criticized PG&E’s shutoffs and urged the California Public Utility Commission to investigate the company for what they see as avoiding wildfire liability at the expense of customer service.

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