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LATEST: CAL FIRE Denies Telling PG&E To Cut Power to 10,000 Customers Due to Wildfires

PG&E and CAL FIRE officials differ in their explanation of why electrical power was shut off to approximately 10,000 residents of the North State in response to the Tehama County fires on Saturday.

Posted: Jun. 23, 2018 8:10 PM
Updated: Jun. 25, 2018 7:52 AM

UPDATE: 12:25 a.m. Sunday, June 24, 2018 - PG&E spokesperson J.D. Guidi has contacted Action News Now to say that PG&E is preparing a statement about the power outages occuring in the North State due to the Tehama fires. Look here later on Sunday to read their response.

UPDATE 11:32 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018 - Deputy Levindosske of the Tehama County Sheriff's Office told Action News Now that some power in Tehama County has been restored. He said at close to 10:00 p.m. power was restored in the Antelope area, and at 10:20 p.m. in Proberta and Gerber. Much of the area around Red Bluff is still without power, with restoration expected by 11:00 p.m. Sunday night.

UPDATE 11:00 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018 - Mike Mohler, CAL FIRE'S Deputy Director of Communications, told Action News Now twenty minutes ago that they never "order" or "request" utilities to shut down their equipment.
     Mohler clarified that they did notify the ISO, which is the California non-profit that manages the flow of electricity across high-voltage power lines, that some of PG&E's power lines were arcing on Saturday.
     He said again, that they "notify," but never "order" or "request" utility shutdowns.
     This is in conflict with what a PG&E spokesperson told us earlier Saturday when they insisted they were cutting power to 6,800 residences by the request of CAL FIRE in order to assist their firefighting efforts.
     PG&E also told us that only 3,200 residences were without power because of fire impacts to their own electric equipment and facilities.
    Action News Now received many phone calls Saturday from people who are concerned about the shutdown of their electricity. They are also concerned about what to do Sunday when temperatures are expected to be very, very hot again.

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UPDATE 9:25 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018 - A large portion of Interstate 5 is without power due to PG&E power outages related to the Tehama County fires. PG&E is now sharing a date and time that they expect some of the power to be restored. That will be on Sunday, June 24th by 11:00 p.m. Officials say they will do safety checks in the morning before they attempt to restore power to any of the 3,200 homes they turned power off to because of fire damage to PG&E electric equipment.

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - More than 10,000 homes are without electricity in Red Bluff, Redding and Chico due to Saturday's wildfires, said a PG&E spokesperson.

Power to 6,800 homes was turned off at the request of CAL FIRE in order to assist firefighters responding to multiple wildfires. The other 3,200 customers are without power due to fire burning PG&E equipment and facilities.

PG&E will send safety patrols out Sunday morning to check conditions at the locations that are without power at this time. At that time they will assess the situation and determine what customers can have their electricity restored.

PG&E said these power outages are not related to the Tier 3 power safety shut-offs that the company announced earlier this month.
    Click here is one of the articles Action News Now published about the power safety shut-off program.
    Click here for a link to a story by reporter AJ Abell about PG&E's power safety shut out plans.
    Here is a link to the PG&E outage map: https://m.pge.com/#outages

Saturday a PG&E spokesperson said they do not anticipate turning off anyone's power in the Tier 3 zone for this reason. 570,000 PG&E customers live in Tier 3 high fire danger areas, which are subject to power safety shut-offs.  All of those customers were contacted this month with a request to update contact information so PG&E can let them know if and when they have to turn off power to their homes and businesses this fire season.
    Here is a link to the website where Tier 3 customers can update their contact information.

Anyone without internet access can call 1-800-PGE-5000 to change their information. A spokesperson said the caller should follow the prompts, and when asked what they want to do, they should say, "update contact information." A representative will then get on the phone with them and update their records.

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