Power shut off to more than 48,000 as fire danger persists in Northern California

Don Hall, PG&E customer experience manager, deals with a power shutoff in Grass Valley
Don Hall, PG&E customer experience manager, sits in a tent at Sierra College, in Grass Valley, Calif., set up for customers whose power was shut off early Wednesday.
(Elias Funez / The Union)

The Pacific Gas & Electric Co. proactively shut off power to more than 48,000 Northern California customers in the face of an elevated fire risk that was expected to continue through Wednesday evening.

Customers in parts of Butte, Nevada, Plumas and Yuba counties lost power at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. According to PG&E’s outage map, power was restored to some areas by 8 a.m., but regions near Chico and Yuba City were without electricity nearly six hours later.

Western parts of the Sacramento Valley and nearby foothills also remain under a severe fire threat, with high temperatures, strong winds reaching up to 40 mph and humidity levels of 10% to 20%, the National Weather Service said.


The fire warning in the northern portion of the state will be in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to dip the rest of the week.

The cool-down is already beginning in Southern California, where an early-season trough and a deep marine layer were settling in. As a result, temperatures in Los Angeles County will climb into the high 80s Wednesday before dropping to the mid-70s later this week, said Bonnie Bartling, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard. There’s even a potential for drizzle on Friday and Saturday, she said.

“It’s just trying to bring us some fall,” Bartling said.

Despite the cooler temperatures ahead, a fire warning remains in effect in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties until 9:30 a.m., the weather service said.

Southern California Edison shut off power Tuesday to 85 customers during the peak of the area’s fire risk. More than 150,000 customers were notified of the potential for power outages.

Edison spokesman Paul Griffo said the power company would update those numbers later Wednesday as the utility received updates about the fire danger.