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PG&E Cuts Off Service Due to Risk of Wildfire

Home » PG&E Cuts Off Service Due to Risk of Wildfire
September 25, 2019
Edward Smith

PG&E Cuts Off Service to Northern CA Residents Due to Risk of Wildfire

Residents of three counties in Northern California had their service cut off by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) due to the high risk of wildfire because of dry conditions and wind. Previously, the electric company admitted that the devastating Camp Fire in 2008, which resulted in 85 fatalities and the loss of thousands of homes and other structures, was probably due to a power line touching nearby trees. Although this planned power outage is expected to last up to 24 or 48 hours, if weather conditions don’t improve, it may last for a longer period or be expanded. The power was cut off on Monday night by PG&E for about 24,000 customers.

Extent of the Power Outage

Three counties in Northern California are affected by the power outage for now. This includes Butte, Yuba, and Nevada counties. However, the power company initially warned that lines may need to be cut to other Northern California locations, including El Dorado, Placer, Napa, Sonoma, and Sutter counties. Affected customers include 10,245 in Butte County, 7,725 people in Nevada County and 4,580 in Yuba County. Those in the affected areas can visit PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff page for the latest information and a list of community resource centers.

Affected Cities

In Butte County, cities affected by the power outage include Bangor, Brush Creek, Berry Creek, Feather Falls, Hurleton, Palermo, Forbestown, Oroville, Yankee Hill, and Rackersby. In Nevada County, impacted towns may include Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Nevada City and Rough and Ready. In Yuba County, affected cities are Bangor, Browns Valley, Camptonville, Dobbins, Challenge-Brownsville, Loma Rica, Marysville, Rackerby, Oregon House and Smartville.

New Rules for Utilities

California regulators passed new rules in May that affect utilities during fire season. This included suggesting that electric utilities use proactive measures to reduce the risk of their equipment contributing to or causing a wildfire, and this is exactly what PG&E is doing.

In early September, PG&E reached a settlement with insurance companies to pay $11 billion in claims caused by wildfires in 2017 and the 2018 Camp Fire. The company had previously paid out $1 billion to local governments for fires that were started by their equipment. 

Getting Help From an Experienced Lawyer

When injuries or fatalities occur due to a wildfire, negligence must be shown in order to place a claim for compensation. A lawyer who handles wildfire claims can help. Investigators will be sent out to find evidence that links the negligent person or company to the cause of the fire. For example, it is important to determine where the fire originally started. Forensic scientists can determine the chemical structure of samples from the fire to determine if an accelerant was used in cases of arson. In Northern California, sparking from power lines has been responsible for devastating injuries and loss of life and property. By compiling strong evidence, those who experience losses may recover financial compensation. The lawyer can help by either negotiating for you with the insurance companies or can build a strong case to present in civil court. 

Sacramento Wildfire Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wildfire lawyer. Wildfires are devastating to both families and their properties. When negligence was the cause, you may be able to place a compensation claim to recover damages. You can get in touch with me at (916) 921-5400 for my free and friendly advice, or contact me from elsewhere in Northern California at (800) 404-5400. An online contact form is also available for your use.

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