Thursday, October 28

Wildfire Risk Prompts West US Utilities to Warn of Power Cuts

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(Bloomberg) — Utilities in California and Nevada warned they may have to cut power to some customers to prevent their live wires from sparking wildfires as dry and windy conditions are expected to return to portions of the drought-stricken US West.

PG&E Corp. said it could cut power to residents living in parts of 10 Northern California counties starting on Monday because dry, gusty winds were forecast to follow a weather system that will deliver rain to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, according to a web post Friday . California power company Liberty Utilities and Nevada utility NV Energy said shutoffs were possible in areas around Lake Tahoe.

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The National Weather Service said windy, dry conditions and above-normal temperatures are expected to produce critical fire weather concerns across portions of the northern Rockies, Nevada and Northern California through Saturday.

Wildfires have ravaged the western US this summer amid a severe drought that has left forests and hillsides bone dry. A fast-moving wildfire that started in the hills east of Sacramento forced residents of the resort town of South Lake Tahoe to evacuate ahead of Labor Day weekend. That blaze, called the Caldor Fire, has been largely contained.

Another wildfire burning in Sequoia National Park in Northern California is threatening a famous grove of old-growth giant sequoias.

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