Power shutoffs are still likely to happen today, but PG&E has dialed back the scope of customers that will be impacted.
Officials said yesterday that about 25,000 customers in Northern and Central California would get the public safety power shutoff notification. This is down from the 44,000 that was originally announced by PG&E on Saturday. The shutoffs are expected to impact over 20 counties across the state. The National Weather Service upgraded yesterday’s Fire Weather Watch to a Red Flag Warning on Sunday when offshore winds were projected to be stronger than previously thought. These high winds, combined with bone-dry vegetation caused by the drought, could increase the risk of trees falling on power lines and sparking wildfires, per PG&E.
The company measures its likelihood of triggering these shutoffs using four categories: Not Planned, Elevated, PSPS Watch and PSPS Warning. Eighteen counties were initially placed on PG&E’s “elevated” status, where PG&E officials begin monitoring conditions in case power shutoffs might be needed, on Friday. On Saturday, 27 counties were updated to a "watch" status, meaning outages are likely.
The weather system is expected to come in Sunday night through Monday, bringing gusty winds and dry conditions.