California Utility May Cut Power to One Million People

Pacific Gas & Electric may cut power to over 1 million people on Sunday to prevent the chance of sparking wildfires as extreme fire weather returns to the region, the utility announced Friday.

The nation’s largest utility said it could black out customers in 38 counties — including most of the San Francisco Bay Area — as weather forecasts called for a return of bone-dry, gusty weather that carries the threat of downing or fouling power lines or other equipment that in recent years have been blamed for igniting massive and deadly blazes in central and Northern California.

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California Braces for Power Shutoffs and Warm, Windy Weekend

Firefighters and officials at California’s largest utility company braced for hot, dry and windy weather in northern and central areas of the state this weekend that may fan the flames of several major wildfires or ignite new ones.

Pacific Gas & Electric warned Friday it may cut power from Sunday morning to Monday, potentially affecting 97,000 customers in 16 counties, during which forecasters said a ridge of high pressure will raise temperatures and generate gusts flowing from the interior to the coast.

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‘Nothing Left in the Bucket’: Wildfire Resources Run Thin

Justin Silvera came off the fire lines in Northern California after a grueling 36 straight days battling wildfires and evacuating residents ahead of the flames. Before that, he and his crew had worked for 20 days, followed by a three-day break.

Silvera, a 43-year-old battalion chief with Cal Fire, California’s state firefighting agency, said he’s lost track of the blazes he’s fought this year. He and his crew have sometimes been on duty for 64 hours at a stretch, their only rest coming in 20-minute catnaps.

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Left-Wing Agitator Arrested for Starting Fire in Washington, Suspected of Starting Two Other Wildfires

A Washington man with a history of left-wing agitation was arrested Wednesday evening after he allegedly started a fire in the brush along a highway near Tacoma.

Jeffrey Acord, 36, was charged for reckless burning in the second degree. He is now reportedly also a suspect in two other Washington wildfires.

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Judge to Approve $58 Billion Plan to End PG&E Bankruptcy After Wildfires, Pay $25.5 Billion for Losses

A federal judge on Friday said he was approving a $58 billion plan by the nation’s largest utility to end a contentious bankruptcy saga that began after Pacific Gas & Electric’s outdated equipment ignited wildfires in California that killed more than 100 people, wiped out entire towns and led the company to confess to crimes driven by its greed and neglect.

The decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali clears the way for PG&E to pay $25.5 billion for losses from devastating fires in 2017 and 2018. The judge said he will sign the formal order confirming PG&E’s plan late Friday or Saturday after the company’s lawyers make a few minor revisions worked out during a two-hour hearing.

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