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.