PG&E says it could cut power in 30 counties to prevent fires

PG&E says it could cut power in 30 counties to prevent fires
FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2017, file photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, flames burn near power lines in Sycamore Canyon near West Mountain Drive in Montecito, Calif. PG&E says it could cut off power to a large swath of Northern California later this week to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires during hot, windy weather. The utility says power could be shut off in 30 counties in central and Northern California starting Wednesday, Oct. 9, when hot weather and strong winds are forecast, and through Thursday. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas and Electric says it could cut off power to a large swath of Northern California later this week to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires during hot, windy weather.

The utility says power could be shut off in part of nearly 30 counties in central and Northern California starting Wednesday and through Thursday, when hot weather and strong winds are forecast.

PG&E said Monday the blackout would include parts of seven of nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. It would also affect portions of the Central Valley and the northern and central coast.

Some of the most destructive blazes in California in recent years were started by PG&E power lines. Winds can knock down live wires and power poles or drive trees and other vegetation into contact with them.

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