The Majority of Affected Customers Would Be in Tehama and Shasta Counties; PG&E is Sending Advanced Notifications to Customers Who Might Be Affected
PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center is Open and Company Meteorologists and Operations Professionals are Monitoring the Situation
OAKLAND, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) meteorologists and operations professionals along with weather agencies are monitoring a potential dry, northerly wind event forecasted to start Wednesday evening and extend into Thursday morning. Given the wind event and current conditions including dry vegetation, PG&E has begun sending advanced notifications to customers—via text, email, and automated phone call—in targeted areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of ignitions from energized powerlines.
Predictive Services Northern Operations, a federal forecasting agency, is also forecasting High Fire Potential risk Wednesday into Thursday for northerly wind gusts up to 40 mph. The Sacramento National Weather Service Office stated northerly winds develop Wednesday into Thursday with gusts 30 – 35 bringing enhanced fire weather concerns for portions of the Sacramento Valley.
The potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) could start around 6 p.m. on Wednesday affecting approximately 4,200 customers in small portions of eight counties and two tribal communities, mostly the northern Sacramento Valley and surrounding foothills.
Conditions may change following the distribution of this media alert. PG&E’s in-house meteorologists, as well as its Emergency Operations Center and its Hazard Awareness & Warning Center (HAWC), continue to closely monitor conditions. We will share additional customer notifications as conditions evolve.
PG&E representatives will make individual, in-person visits, when possible, to customers enrolled in the company’s Medical Baseline Program who do not verify they have received these important safety communications, with a primary focus on customers who rely on electricity for critical life-sustaining equipment.
Potentially Affected Customers, Counties, and Tribal Communities
Customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
The potential shutoff is currently expected to affect approximately 4,200 customers across the following counties and tribal communities:
- Butte County: 435 customers, 36 Medical Baseline customers
- Colusa County: 484 customers, 37 Medical Baseline customers
- Glenn County: 349customers, 18 Medical Baseline customers
- Lake County: 186 customers, 20 Medical Baseline customers
- Napa County: 7 customers, 0 Medical Baseline Customers
- Shasta County: 1,558 customers, 131 Medical Baseline customers
- Tehama County: 1,117 customers, 124Medical Baseline customers
- Yolo County: 10 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
- Grindstone Rancheria: 48 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
- Pit River Tribes: 8 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
Here’s what PG&E customers should know:
Why PG&E Calls a PSPS Event
PG&E initiates PSPS when the fire-weather forecast is severe enough that people’s safety, lives, homes, and businesses may be in danger of wildfires. Our overarching goal is to stop catastrophic wildfires by proactively turning off power when extreme weather threatens our electric grid. We recognize that PSPS outages create hardships for our customers and communities. Our sole focus is to keep our customers safe.
As each weather situation is unique, we carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off. These factors include but are not limited to:
- Low humidity levels, generally 30% and below.
- A forecast of high winds particularly sustained winds above 19 miles per hour and wind gusts above 30-40 miles per hour.
- Condition of dry material on the ground and low moisture content of vegetation.
- A Red Flag Warning was declared by the National Weather Service.
- Real-time ground observations from our crews working across the service area.
Our decision-making process also accounts for the presence of trees tall enough to strike powerlines.
This set of criteria is a first step that may lead to further analysis by our meteorology team to determine if a PSPS event is necessary.
Here’s Where to Learn More
- PG&E’s emergency website (www.pge.com/pspsupdates) is now available in 16 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Farsi, Arabic, Hmong, Khmer, Punjabi, Japanese, Thai, Portuguese and Hindi. Customers have the opportunity to choose their language of preference for viewing the information when visiting the website.
- Customers are encouraged to update their contact information and indicate their preferred language for notifications by visiting www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or by calling 1-800-743-5000, where in-language support is available.
- Tenants and non-account holders can sign up to receive PSPS ZIP Code Alerts for any area they do not have a PG&E account by visiting www.pge.com/pspsupdates.
- At PG&E’s Safety Action Center (www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com/) customers can prepare for emergencies. By using the “Make Your Own Emergency Plan” tool and answering a few short questions, visitors to the website can compile and organize the important information needed for a personalized family emergency plan. This includes phone numbers, escape routes, and a family meeting location if an evacuation is necessary.
PG&E’s Commitment to Wildfire Safety
Using advanced technologies and rebuilding the electric system from the underground up, we are preventing wildfires, improving reliability, and reducing costs over the long term. We are building the energy grid of the future that our customers deserve while also taking immediate steps to keep customers safe.
Our wildfire prevention work relies on layers of protection to make our system safer and more resilient while positioning us to better serve our customers in the short and long term. These tools help us respond to our state’s evolving climate challenges:
- Our 10,000-mile Undergrounding Program is the largest effort in the U.S. to underground powerlines as a wildfire risk reduction measure.
- In addition to undergrounding, we are strengthening the electric system with stronger poles and covered powerlines in and near high fire-risk areas.
- Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) decrease ignitions and provide wildfire protection to all customers living in high fire-risk areas.
- We continue to reduce the impact of PSPS. While there were no weather-driven PSPS outages in 2022, it continues to be a top focus for our team.
- We are managing trees and other vegetation located near powerlines that could cause a power outage and/or ignition.
- We are also investing in advanced tools and technologies like artificial intelligence and drones that help us automate fire detection and response.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.