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Utility May Cut Power to Most of Northern California

FILE - A Pacific Gas & Electric worker walks in front of a truck in San Francisco, Aug. 15, 2019.

Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) said it may be forced to cut power to most of Northern California later this week in order to prevent wildfires.

Weather forecasters are predicting hot, dry offshore winds — known as Diablo winds — for the region Wednesday and Thursday. The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather warning.

The utility said power could be shutoff in as many as 29 counties in the Bay Area, the coastal areas and the northern Central Valley.

PG&E is exercising extreme caution after its power lines sparked a blaze that destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings, killed 85 people and ravaged the town of Paradise last year.

Last month, the company paid $11 billion to insurance companies for claims stemming from wildfires sparked by its equipment in 2017 and 2018, including the one in Paradise.