About 1,300 local Pacific Gas & Electric Company customers lost power at 6 a.m. on Saturday to preempt a possible fire hazard during a period of high winds.
PG&E told the county that power was expected to be restored Saturday evening, according to a Nixle alert sent Saturday afternoon. A PG&E spokesperson said crews planned to start inspecting power lines at noon Saturday and search for obstructions or fire hazards.
Affected customers lived in the Lake Berryessa, Circle Oaks, Wooden Valley and Gordon Valley areas, according to a county Nixle alert sent late Friday night.
Stu Williams, a Berryessa Highlands resident, said he and many of his neighbors have generators that they can rely on when the power goes out. He said he was grateful to the PG&E crew members busy checking lines to get power restored to customers.
“I would rather be inconvenienced than displaced,” he said of PG&E’s power shutoff policy. “I would rather try to partner with them to try to solve the problem than sticking their head in the sand.”
A total of 1,600 customers in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties had their power shut off, PG&E said. The utility said in a statement that it planned to shut down power to nearly 27,000 customers in the Sierra Foothills on Saturday night.
PG&E put its customers on notice this spring that it would turn off the power when high winds threatened transmission lines. Downed lines have sparked major California wildfires over the past two fire seasons.
The county announced that it was opening two charging stations for people without power at the Capell Valley Volunteer Station (1193 Capell Valley Road) and the Gordon Valley Volunteer Station (1345 Wooden Valley Cross Road). The stations were scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
David Peña, fire captain at Cal Fire’s Gordon Valley Station, said residents who stop by can sign up and sit at a table to charge their devices. If the weather heats up, air conditioning will be on. The station is powered by a generator, he said.
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While the charging station is set to close at 6 p.m., Peña said a third party can come and operate the station if needed.
The Bay Area chapter of the National Weather Service said late Saturday morning that a red flag warning — which indicates conditions that are ripe for fires — would remain in effect until 5 p.m. Sunday. Areas facing the highest threat included the hills of eastern Napa County, and the areas around Mounts Saint Helena and Tamalpais.
Winds in the Bay Area were expected to ease Sunday, but temperatures could approach 100 degrees.
Napa County Public Health Officer Karen Relucio said in a press release sent late Friday that people particularly susceptible to heat exhaustion include seniors, people who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions.
People should seek medical help if they experience profuse sweating and cramping, hot and dry skin, a body temperature of 105 degrees, and confusion or unconsciousness.
Heat stress can be observed in pets who are panting heavily, have glazed eyes, have a rapid pulse, are unsteady or have a staggering gait, are vomiting, and have a purple or dark red tongue.
For more tips on heat exhaustion, visit bit.ly/2MJLsX8.