Californians fear more wildfires as winds pick up
Thousands of households across Northern California braced for power blackouts on Wednesday as dry weather threatened to touch off a new round of the wildfires that have ravaged the state, Reuters reports.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E), which provides power to much of California, said it would cut power to about 53,000 customers across 24 counties as a preventative measure against potential fires because of severe weather conditions. The shutoffs were set to begin on Wednesday night.
The company has acknowledged that its equipment started the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history.
The National Weather Service is predicting strong, dry “Diablo” winds in Northern California, and temperatures over 90 degrees F (32 C) in the southern part of the state.
A combination of strong, gusty winds, low humidity and accumulated buildup of dried-out shrubs, trees and grasses was creating ideal conditions for fires, said Eric Kurth, meteorologist in the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service.
The agency has issued a “red flag” warning for much of the state through Friday, warning residents that fires can spread and start easily under current conditions.