Northern California braced for mega power cut

epa07906580 A view of power lines near homes in the Oakland Hills in Oakland, California, USA, 08 October 2019. The Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utilities company has confirmed that around 800,00 customers across 34 Northern California counties would be left without power starting at midnight as a precaution due to dry conditions and high wildfire risk. It will be California's largest power outage in history. EPA-EFE/JOHN G. MABANGLO

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A power company has started cutting electricity to around 800,000 homes, businesses and other locations in Northern California, in an attempt to prevent wildfires.

Large swathes of the San Francisco Bay Area – though not the city itself – are expected to be affected.

The region’s utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), has warned the shut down could last several days.

An investigation determined that poorly maintained PG&E equipment was to blame for starting the blaze – the deadliest in California’s history.

With weather forecasts predicting high winds, the move is intended to prevent the risk of fallen power lines igniting the kind of wildfires that have devastated large areas of the state in previous years.


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