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PG&E begins new mass power shutoff over fire danger

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is once again shutting off power to large areas of central and Northern California because of fire danger.

PG&E planned blackouts Wednesday in parts of 18 counties ranging from north of Sacramento to the northern San Francisco Bay Area, the wine country and Sierra Nevada foothills.

The shut-offs could affect about 375,000 people and could last into Thursday.

It’s the latest in a series of mass outages prompted by weather conditions in the past two months. Brush is bone-dry from a lack of fall rains. PG&E is worried that gusts might fling debris into its power lines, sparking catastrophic wildfires.

The previous outages — including one affecting some 2.5 million people last month — inconvenienced and outraged customers. But PG&E says it’s a matter of public safety.

Associated Press

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