Potential Sunday/Oct. 25 PSPS Event Forecasted Highest Winds and Driest Conditions of the Season Mean PG&E May Need to Proactively Turn Off Power for Safety to Approximately 466,000 Customers Across Northern and Central California
Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Emergency Operations Center, Meteorology team and Wildfire Safety Operations Center are working together and tracking a significant, offshore wind event starting Sunday that is forecast to have the driest humidity levels and the strongest winds of the wildfire season thus far.
PG&E has notified customers in targeted portions of 38 counties about a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) expected to start as early as Sunday morning (Oct. 25). Extremely dry, windy conditions with high gusts pose an increased risk for damage to the electric system that has the potential to ignite fires in areas with critically dry vegetation.
High fire-risk conditions are expected to arrive Sunday morning. High winds are currently expected to subside Tuesday morning (Oct. 27). PG&E will then patrol the de-energized lines to ensure they were not damaged during the wind event. PG&E will safely restore power as quickly as possible, with the goal of restoring most customers within 12 daylight hours, based on current weather conditions.
While there is still uncertainty regarding the strength and timing of this weather wind event, the shutoff is forecasted to affect approximately 466,000 customers in targeted portions of 38 counties, including: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. Some customers in 25 tribal communities may also be affected.
The highest probability areas for this PSPS include terrain of the northern and western Sacramento Valley, Northern and Central Sierra as well as higher terrain of the Bay Area, including the Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast Region and portions of southern Kern.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility. PG&E’s 24/7 Wildfire Safety Operations Center and our team of in-house meteorologists continue to monitor weather conditions for this potential Diablo offshore wind event arriving Sunday morning and lasting through Tuesday morning,” said Michael Lewis, PG&E’s Interim President. “Initial forecasts indicate this could be our largest PSPS event this year so far. Our highest priority is to keep customers and communities safe and execute this event according to our plan and to then quickly restore power to all affected customers when it’s safe to do so.”