PG&E has confirmed that there is a possibility that power will be shut off for parts of the North Bay early next week to decrease fire risk during hot, dry weather. The utility company has said that it will notify customers if a shutoff becomes imminent.
“To be clear, a public safety power shutoff has not been called,” said PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras. “We’re just monitoring some adverse conditions that we see for Monday and Tuesday.”
PG&E has a new weather website that shows that the potential for public safety power shutoffs is elevated for zones three through five Monday and Tuesday. Before a shutoff the level would have to move to watch and warning, triggering more notifications. A public safety power shutoff happens under certain conditions.
“That could be gusty winds, dry conditions combined with a heightened fire risk threatening a portion of the electric system,” Contreras said. “There is no single factor.”
Santa Rosa resident Lisl Christie wants to be prepared for a potential shutoff, especially when it comes to notification.
“It’s helpful to me for a couple of reasons,” she said. “One is that I like to make sure that I’m ready at home so I always keep a half tank of gas in my car. A power shutdown would mean no access to gas.”
The Santa Rosa Fire Department is monitoring the situation and Tweeted out proactively to let neighbors know that though it’s not imminent, they should be aware.
“The reality is we have been working hard with PG&E as well as our partners with the county of Sonoma to make sure we get as much early notification as possible so that we can continue to educate,” said Paul Lowenthal of the Santa Rosa Fire Department.