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One PG&E wildfire safety blackout is ending. Another could begin in California soon

One PG&E wildfire safety blackout is ending. Another could begin in California soon

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PG&E Corp., still wrapping up a wildfire safety blackout that began earlier this week, is preparing to launch another outage across parts of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, Bay Area and Central Coast.

California's largest utility announced late Tuesday it could start shutting power to 29,000 homes and businesses in 19 counties early Thursday.

In both cases, weather and climate are the driving force: PG&E blamed the drought, dry conditions and another windstorm in the forecast. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for most of the day Thursday.

The new public safety power shutoff, or PSPS, would affect customers in parts of the following counties: Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Kern, Lake, Napa, Plumas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.

The warning came as PG&E was continuing to restore electricity to about 24,000 customers hit with a PSPS blackout that began Monday.

The PSPS outages reflect PG&E's ongoing struggle to curb wildfire dangers. The utility is under investigation in this year's Dixie Fire, the second largest wildfire in California's history, and has been indicted on criminal charges in connection with last year's fatal Zogg Fire in Shasta County and 2019's Kincade Fire in Sonoma County.

The company emerged last year from bankruptcy protection, the result of a string of disasters capped by the November 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise.

Under the watchful eye of Moana the llama, goats and sheep clear fire fuel on Calistoga's Mount Washington.

Napa's Burning Problem: A Napa Valley Register series taking an in-depth look at Napa County's vulnerability to wildfires

The Napa Valley Register takes an in-depth look at Napa County's vulnerability to wildfires in this four-part series.

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