California fire: PG&E issues power shutoff warning in 22 counties, Internet worried the heat will ‘kill’ elderly

PG&E, Pacific Gas and Electric company has issued a warning to its customer of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, that could impact around 172,000 customers in 22 California counties


                            California fire: PG&E issues power shutoff warning in 22 counties, Internet worried the heat will ‘kill’ elderly
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The El Dorado Fire which was reportedly started during a gender revelation party on Saturday (September 5) morning in California, has continued to spread in the western US, burning thousands of acres of forest area to the ground and significantly increasing the temperature in the affected area and regions surrounding it. Amid the extreme heat, the Pacific Gas and Electric company (PG&E) has issued a warning to its customers about a Public Safety Power Shutoff, that could impact around 172,000 customers in 22 California counties. In their press release, the company stated that precautionary measures are being taken against “offshore dry wind event”. 

The utility informed that “the severe weather event” could feature up to 20-30 mph winds with “gusts upto 50 mph” according to ABC News. Napa, Sonoma, and Lake counties of Bay are also expected to encounter the potential power shutoff.  The power outage will begin around 3 am on Tuesday, September 8 and is expected to be restored by 7 pm Wednesday, September 9. 

Mark Quinlan, PG&E incident commander said in a statement, “We’re doing that because we believe that the unsafe winds will be in place right around daybreak, at about 6, so it takes us a little bit of time to make sure we can switch the system off and make sure it is safe before the winds get here.”

Meanwhile, Deanna Contreras, PG&E spokesperson said, “We understand the impact that turning off the power has on our customers, especially because it's hot. We may need to turn off the power during this severe weather for public safety to prevent a wildfire”

In 2018, just before California’s deadliest Camp Fire, the utility had reportedly submitted an “electric incident report” to the California Public Utilities Commission. According to BBC, the reports indicated that the company’s equipment was linked to several deadly fire incidents. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and is reportedly facing $30 billion in liabilities. The campfire killed 85 people. 

Although PG&E is considering all measures to prevent a similar accident from the El Dorado Fire, people have expressed disappointment in the utility for multiple reasons. While the majority of them are concerned about facing long hours of power shut down, many are complaining about the rising temperatures, and heat which is expected to worsen idue to the lack of electricity. Meanwhile, a few who still seem upset with the company owing to the previous fire accident, have asked PG&E to shut down for good. One tweeted, "PG&E's public safety power shutoffs to begin at 9 p.m THE ONLY THING THAT NEEDS TO BE SHUTDOWN IS PG&E ITSELF!!! STOP KILLING PEOPLE!!! GET OUT OF CALIFORNIA!!! NEVER COME BACK!!!



 

 

Another tweeted, "Sick of power outages during heat waves! Sick of a Governor who isn't doing anything about PG&E. California is a third world utility provider. It's an embarrassment! It's dangerous to seniors! And it's got to stop!!"



 

 

Another agitated Twitter user wrote, "So with like 85% of businesses shutdown in California, @PGE4Me can't seem to keep the power on for its residential customers during this heat wave. Very interesting! Thanks for holding us hostage during a State of emergency!."



 

 

"So PG&E is planning to shut off power to people in this heatwave? Are you serious? You are going to kill a lot of elderly!" read another tweet. 



 

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