Pacific Gas & Electric may cut power to over 1 million people on Sunday to prevent the chance of sparking wildfires as extreme fire weather returns to the region, the utility announced Friday.
The nation’s largest utility said it could black out customers in 38 counties — including most of the San Francisco Bay Area — as weather forecasts called for a return of bone-dry, gusty weather that carries the threat of downing or fouling power lines or other equipment that in recent years have been blamed for igniting massive and deadly blazes in central and Northern California. Read More
Firefighters and officials at California’s largest utility company braced for hot, dry and windy weather in northern and central areas of the state this weekend that may fan the flames of several major wildfires or ignite new ones.
Pacific Gas & Electric warned Friday it may cut power from Sunday morning to Monday, potentially affecting 97,000 customers in 16 counties, during which forecasters said a ridge of high pressure will raise temperatures and generate gusts flowing from the interior to the coast. Read More
Justin Silvera came off the fire lines in Northern California after a grueling 36 straight days battling wildfires and evacuating residents ahead of the flames. Before that, he and his crew had worked for 20 days, followed by a three-day break.
Silvera, a 43-year-old battalion chief with Cal Fire, California’s state firefighting agency, said he’s lost track of the blazes he’s fought this year. He and his crew have sometimes been on duty for 64 hours at a stretch, their only rest coming in 20-minute catnaps. Read More
A Washington man with a history of left-wing agitation was arrested Wednesday evening after he allegedly started a fire in the brush along a highway near Tacoma.
Jeffrey Acord, 36, was charged for reckless burning in the second degree. He is now reportedly also a suspect in two other Washington wildfires. Read More
A federal judge on Friday said he was approving a $58 billion plan by the nation’s largest utility to end a contentious bankruptcy saga that began after Pacific Gas & Electric’s outdated equipment ignited wildfires in California that killed more than 100 people, wiped out entire towns and led the company to confess to crimes driven by its greed and neglect.
The decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali clears the way for PG&E to pay $25.5 billion for losses from devastating fires in 2017 and 2018. The judge said he will sign the formal order confirming PG&E’s plan late Friday or Saturday after the company’s lawyers make a few minor revisions worked out during a two-hour hearing. Read More
Recent history might explain why Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is lashing out at the public utility company responsible for rolling blackouts in his state as citizens wrestle with increasing gas prices. Read More
Several insurance companies have filed lawsuits blaming Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for a deadly California wildfire that destroyed 14,000 homes and triggered billions of dollars in insurance claims. The lawsuits filed by Allstate, State Farm, USAA and their subsidiaries come on top of several other cases filed by victims… Read More
by Jason Hopkins An in-depth investigation found that federal, state and local governments were aware of California’s vulnerability to wildfires, but failed to take the necessary steps to prevent its devastation. California residents have recently been forced to deal with some of the worst wildfires in the state’s history.… Read More
Insurance claims from last month’s California wildfires already are at $9 billion and expected to increase, the state’s insurance commissioner announced Wednesday. About $7 billion in claims are from the Camp Fire that destroyed the Northern California city of Paradise and killed at least 86 people, making it the deadliest… Read More
by Tim Pierce Adopting more active forest management policies such as increased thinning of trees and conducting controlled burns will help mitigate damage from future wildfires, the Los Angeles Times editorial board writes. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke began advocating similar policy prescriptions earlier in 2018 after President Donald Trump… Read More
by Michael Bastasch – The Associated Press claims that “science says” global warming increases the area of western U.S. land scorched by wildfires every year. – Climate scientist Cliff Mass noted AP’s simple correlation is not “science” and misses other key drivers of fires. – It’s similar to another report… Read More