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PG&E power shutoff could affect more than 2,000 Napa County customers starting Tuesday

A pre-emptive power shutoff due to a forecast of high winds and elevated fire risk may start Tuesday evening and black out some 48,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers, including 2,041 in Napa County, the utility announced.

PG&E issued the alert Monday night based on a forecast of dry offshore winds beginning late Tuesday, combined with vegetation left dangerously dry by the California drought. The company has begun sending one-day advance notices to customers in areas where it may impose a public safety power shutoff to lessen the wildfire risk from energized power lines.

PG&E meteorologists are tracking a weather system that could bring sustained winds of up to 40 mph, with higher gusts in foothills and mountains. The National Weather Service issued Fire Weather Watches in the areas Tuesday and Wednesday based on forecasts for dry northerly winds and low relative humidity. Additionally, the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center’s North Operations Predictive Services issued a high-risk fire warning Tuesday through Wednesday due to “an unusually gusty early-season” wind event.

In all, the PSPS is projected to last from Tuesday into Wednesday afternoon and affect 18 counties, the utility said in a news release.

The bulk of the potentially affected customers, about 31,000, are in Butte and Shasta counties in the northern part of the state. On Napa County’s borders, other customers who may lose service in a PSPS include 2,083 in Lake County, 240 in Sonoma County and 44 in Solano County, according to PG&E.

Factors that can lead to a pre-emptive power cut include:

- Humidity levels below 30%

- A forecast of high winds, especially with sustained speeds above 20 mph with gusts exceeding 30-40 mph

- Low vegetation moisture

- A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service

- Real-time ground observations from PG&E’s wildfire safety operations center and service crews

For more information, visit PG&E’s emergency website at Customers can update their contact information and choose their preferred notification language by visiting or calling 800-742-5000.

A crew from Atlas Tree picks up downed trees at Herb Lamb Vineyards in Deer Park on Tuesday, under a new program launched by PG&E.

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