Pacific Gas & Electric officials said Monday afternoon that power shutoffs are no longer necessary in Fresno, Madera and Mariposa counties due to improvements in weather conditions.
“We have received all clear orders for portions of all local counties and tribal areas affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoffs,” said PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles. “Inspections (to allow for power restoration) have begun in some areas of those counties.”
Boyles urged customers to check their address onwww.pge.com/pspsupdates to see their estimated restoration time.
“Our goal remains to have the majority of customers restored by tomorrow evening,” he said.
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Monday morning, the Shaver Lake Hardware store was operating on generator power to stay open after PG&E shut off power to parts of the region Sunday night in anticipation of high winds and high fire danger. “It might be quite a while,” an employee tells GV Wire℠ over the phone.
PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles tells GV Wire℠ that “4,712 customers” are impacted by the Public Safety Power Shutoffs. A website with current updated power outage information shows many areas of the Sierra foothills stretching from east of Fresno north to the Chico area show how widespread the shutoff is.
The company has given no estimate for when power will be restored, saying it is dependent on improved weather. Current forecasts are predicting high winds and dry conditions through Tuesday evening.
Before restoring electricity to customers, the company says all power lines in affected areas will need to be inspected for safety.
The US Forest Service says the areas around the Creek Fire will have sustained wind speeds on ridges and peaks of 30-40 miles per hour through the morning, but will begin to slowly drop in intensity later in the day. High winds and low humidity will continue through Tuesday, they said. The fire is 369,362 acres and 63% contained.
Fresno County’s Cal Fire tweeted late Sunday night, “Rest assured, CAL FIRE is fully staffed and ready to respond to any emergency in Fresno County and Statewide.” Firefighters are also in route from Fresno to the San Bernardino area in preparation for red flag warnings in Southern California. CAL FIRE routinely prepositions crews and equipment to be better prepared for high fire danger events and red flag warnings.
CAL FIRE firefighters are in route from Fresno to San Bernardino area in preparation for red flag warnings in Southern California. CAL FIRE routinely prepositions crews and equipment to be better prepared for high fire danger events and red flag warnings. pic.twitter.com/KNH8YQgTb7
— CALFIRE/FresnoCoFire (@FresnoCoFire) October 25, 2020
Several schools posted messages to parents alerting them that school would not be in session on Monday, and possibly longer.
The Sierra Unified School District posted, “Due to a Public Safety Power Shutoff, schools in the Sierra Unified District are closed Monday, October 26, 2020. There will be no in-person or online distance learning for Monday. We will continue to monitor the situation, and notify you regarding the status of in-person instruction for Tuesday, October 27.”
The Yosemite School District posted, “PG&E has indicated that the Oakhurst and Bass Lake areas will be without power starting this evening and going through tomorrow. Since Yosemite High School and surrounding campuses will be without power, Yosemite High School, Ahwahnee High Schools, Evergreen High School, Yosemite Falls High School and John Muir Academy and Yosemite Adult School will all be closed tomorrow, October 26. All other district sites are not affected and will have classes as scheduled.”
ABC30 reports that Pine Ridge Elementary School is also closed Monday.
Community Resource Centers
PG&E has set up Community Resource Centers to support customers impacted by the power shutoffs.
- All centers provide an ADA-accessible restroom and hand-washing station, medical equipment charging, device charging, Wi-Fi, bottled water and snacks.
- Indoor centers also offer air-conditioning or heating, seating and ice.
In Madera county, there are resource centers at North Fork Elementary School, and Yosemite High School.
In Fresno county they are located at Auberry Community church and Sierra Oaks Senior Center.
Red Flag Warning
The National Weather Service office in Hanford issued a red flag warning from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening.
The NWS says they issue a red flag warning in conjunction with land management agencies to alert people to an ongoing or expected critical fire weather pattern.
Red Flag Warning now in effect for the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains as well as Kern County foothills, mountains, and desert areas from Sunday evening until Tuesday evening. This replaces the Fire Weather Watch that was in place. More info here: https://t.co/2m2ztrJy43 pic.twitter.com/uUkFto5KN3
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) October 24, 2020