LINCOLN (CBS 13) — PG&E will turn off power for hundreds of thousands of customers starting early Wednesday morning.
Red Flag fire conditions are widespread, affecting 34 counties. Cal Fire said this weather event marks the worst fire conditions we’ve seen this year.
This is the first time people in Lincoln will have had to deal with a mandatory power shut off. Lincoln is one of the dozens of communities dealing with this.
Tony Nunez, who has lived in Lincoln for decades, said he has everything he needs for a power shutoff: flashlights and a small generator. He’s not worried about the shutoff Wednesday that is expected to affect 800,000 customers.
“I’ve got a small generator and what a lot of people don’t realize is if you have a small generator, you can still watch TV,” Nunez said.
PG&E said the power will be turned off in stages, depending on the timing of severe wind conditions. Conditions are severe enough that Cal Fire is deploying extra resources
“The fire conditions we’re going to see over the next two days, maybe even longer, are the most extreme fire conditions we’ve seen in 2019,” said Mike Mohler, the deputy director of Cal Fire.
Mohler said additional crews and equipment will be sent to all the counties affected by this latest Red Flag event. He said there’s no way to predict where a fire will break out.
“We don’t have that opportunity to say ‘oh it’s going to be right here,’ we have to spread our resources anywhere that’s affected by it,” Mohler said.
Mohler said up to 48 hours before a weather event like this, his agency is already looking at the staffing and where first responders need to be sent.
“We notify those crews and we move them into areas working with the National Weather Service. Until we know that threat is mitigated, resources will be in that area,” Mohler said.
In the meantime, Lincoln resident Fred Gonzalez is getting ready to change his daily routine.
“I feel for everybody not just for me. You’re going to have to go back to the primitive ways, firewood,” Gonzalez said.