Dry, Windy Weather Keeps Fire Worries High

Power Cutoff Remains Possible

KCBS Radio Morning News
November 08, 2018 - 6:21 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) --  More than 60,000 Northern California PG&E customers remained on standby Thursday morning for a possible power outage.

PG&E had warned customers in nine counties that planned outages could occur during this current period of  dry/windy weather as a way to minimize the possibility of wildfires triggered by downed power lines. By Thursday, the "Public Safety Power Shutdown" warning had been trimmed to eight counties: Butte County, Lake County, Napa County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sierra County,  and Yuba County.

PG&E Spokeswoman Megan McFarland tells KCBS Radio "PG&E Meteorologist are closely monitoring the weather situation. We see some extreme weather coming in later this morning. We're staying on top of it in the event that we do have to proactivly shut off the power to keep our customers safe." 

Matt Bigler

Some PG&E customers, however, expressed irritation that their power would be cut. Clive Richardson, who owns the Calistoga Roastery, told KPIX that he was out $3,000 from spoiled food and lost sales when PG&E pulled the plug in October due to the heightened chance of wildfires 

Thursday dawned clear and dry across the northern half of the state. Relative humidity values in the teens were common: 17% in the Oakland hills, 15% atop Mt. Veeder above the Napa Valley, and 17% in Wooden Valley, between Fairfield and Napa.

The National Weather Service added the Santa Cruz Mountains to a Red Flag fire warning that had already covered the North Bay and East Bay hills and mountains. The NWS warned of gusts that could reach 40-60 MPH on higher peaks, although at 4:25am on Thursday, a gust of 71 MPH was recorded atop Mt. Diablo.