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(TNS) — With temperatures soaring and strong winds blowing through forests across Northern California over the weekend, rural areas in the Sierra Nevada foothills plunged into darkness after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. shut off high-voltage transmission lines to avoid sparking wildfires.

The first formal deployment of its new Public Safety and Power Shutoff rules left more than 20,500 PG&E customers in portions of Butte and Yuba counties without power as 260 utility personnel conducted safety patrols, repaired electric infrastructure and inspected 800 miles of transmission and distribution lines, officials said.

The aggressive power shutoffs began at 9 p.m. Saturday and continued through Sunday. “We’re asking impacted customers to be prepared for a 24- to 48-hour outage,” Karly Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the utility said in an interview Sunday.

https://www.govtech.com/em/preparedness/Utilities-in-Fire-Weary-California-Strategize-for-the-Long-Hot-Summer.html