2020-10-14 14:04

California braces for renewed fire threat from windy weather U46世界播


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dry, windy weather posed an extreme wildfire risk Wednesday in Northern California, where massive blazes already have cost hundreds of homes and killed or injured dozens of people. U46世界播


The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning from 5 a.m. through Friday morning. With bone-dry humidity and wind gusts possibly hitting 55 mph, Pacific Gas & Electric warned that it may begin cutting power Wednesday evening to as many as 54,000 customers in 24 counties. U46世界播


The nation's largest utility was expected to make a decision earlier Wednesday on whether to implement the preemptive electricity cuts in an effort to prevent fires from being started by damaged power lines fouled or knocked down in high winds. U46世界播


“We really view it as a last resort option,” said Mark Quinlan, the company’s incident commander. U46世界播

该公司事故指挥官马克·昆兰(Mark Quinlan)表示:“我们真的认为这是最后的选择。”U46世界播

The utility also has deployed generators and other measures to keep electricity flowing in some areas that might otherwise have lost power during the outages, Quinlan said. U46世界播


About 33,000 homes and businesses could begin losing power at 6 p.m., mainly in the Sierra Nevada foothills and northern San Francisco Bay Area, followed by 21,000 other customers two hours later in other portions of the Sierras and the Bay Area, along with portions of the Central Coast, PG&E said. U46世界播


The figures for affected customers range from more than 11,300 in Butte County, 6,000 in Santa Cruz County and around 5,400 customers in Alameda County to just 10 in Yolo County, according to the utility. U46世界播


About 200 people in Humboldt County in the far north could lose power Thursday afternoon as winds hit there, PG&E said. U46世界播


All power should be restored by late Friday night, the utility said. U46世界播


The outages would include regions already hit by massive wildfires. The Glass Fire that ravaged the wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties was nearly surrounded after destroying more than 1,500 homes and other buildings. U46世界播


PG&E said it could cut power to more than 9,200 customers in Napa and around 1,800 in Sonoma. U46世界播


Farther north, the Zogg Fire in Shasta and Tehama counties was 99% contained. Four people died in that blaze. PG&E estimated its cuts potentially could affect nearly 4,700 customers in Shasta and around 1,200 in Tehama. U46世界播


Most of the huge fires have been fully or substantially contained over the past eight weeks. But 11,500 firefighters remain on the lines. U46世界播


Numerous studies have linked bigger wildfires in America to climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas. Scientists say climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable. U46世界播


PG&E said last month that it is executing smarter and shorter power shutoffs after receiving widespread criticism last year when it turned off electricity to 2 million people to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires. U46世界播


PG&E’s aging equipment has previously sparked some of the state’s largest wildfires, including the deadly 2018 fire that destroyed much of the town of Paradise and killed 85. The utility pleaded guilty in June to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter; one death was ruled a suicide. The utility paid $25.5 billion in settlements to cover the losses from power line-sparked catastrophes. U46世界播


Meanwhile, wildfires will remain a threat in California indefinitely. U46世界播


“We have had a historic fire season this year,” PG&E meteorologist Scott Strenfel said. “We are and will continue to be in the peak of fire season until the rain and snow returns. And all of us here hope that it returns sooner rather than later.” U46世界播

PG&E气象学家斯科特·斯特伦费尔(Scott Strenfel)说:“今年我们经历了一个历史性的火灾季节。”“我们现在是,并将继续处于火季的高峰期,直到雨雪重现。我们在座的所有人都希望它早日回归。“U46世界播

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