bay area weather

PG&E, Cal Fire Prepared for Intense Heat and Fire Danger

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As temperatures soared in the Bay Area Friday, so did concern over power outages and wildfires.

PG&E is bracing for a spike in power use, especially air conditioners.

“Well I have central heating and air, so I guess I’ll crank it up despite the fact that it’ll kill me on my electrical bill,” said Paula of San Jose. “But, you know, it is what it is -- it’s hot.”

PG&E says heavy use of air conditioners and home appliances put stress on transformers, making them more likely to blow out.

They're asking everyone to set you AC to 78-degrees.

“It doesn’t give the transformers a chance to cool down and that’s when they fail and we start seeing outage activity,” said Mayra Tostado of PG&E. “This morning we already started seeing some transformer failure.”

Although the little bit of rain seen earlier this week may not seem like much Friday, PG&E says it was enough to call off any public safety shut offs -- which it does when wildfire risk is high for the next seven days.

“There’s still good moisture in the area, however we are still tracking the weather 24/7,” said Tostado. “So whenever there is a change we will communicate that with our customers.”

While CalFire is glad PG&E sees enough moisture to hold off on shutoffs, Bay Area firefighters are on full alert with maximum staffing of engines and ground crews.

“As much as I’d like to take the opportunity to tell everybody to get out and take care of their defensible space and clean up their yards, with these extreme high temperatures, this is not a good time to be out running lawn mowers and weed eaters and things of that sort, because using equipment in these temperatures can start fires,” said Dwight Good of Cal Fire.

It might not be easy cutting down on certain activities or comforts at home, but PG&E points out the peak of this heat is happening now and things will change quickly as the temperatures drop.

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