PG&E might turn off power in 18 California counties for some customers over fire risks

Pacific Gas and Electric said the utility might proactively shut off power Tuesday night in small portions of 18 California counties that could affect 48,000 customers because of dry offshore dry winds that could spark fires throughout the state. 

Butte and Shasta counties in Northern California could experience the largest number of affected customers. PG&E said that 31,000 customers there, where the massive Dixie Fire rages, could lose electricity.

As many as 2,325 customers across the Bay Area might be affected. About 2,041 PG&E customers in northern Napa County might be hit while smaller numbers in Solano and Sonoma counties may also go dark. 

PG&E said it began sending one-day advance notification about the potential for the so-called public safety power shutoffs on Monday.

SEE ALSO: Bay Area air quality advisory extended through Monday due to wildfire smoke

On Sunday, PG&E opened its emergency operations center where the company’s meteorologists began monitoring the likely Tuesday evening "wind event." Already, the state is experiencing extreme and exceptional drought condition, as well as a dry vegetation.

In a statement, PG&E said there is a combination of factors to consider when deciding if power must be turned off. They include, low humidity levels below 30%, a forecast of sustained winds above  20 miles per hour and wind gusts above 30 miles per hour and Red Flag warnings declared by the National Weather Service.

This year, PG&E said its decision-making process also accounts for the presence of trees tall enough to strike power lines. 

Here's a closer look at the counties and customers who could be affected: 

  • Butte County: 11,114 customers,1,027 Medical Baseline customers
  • Colusa County: 509 customers, 33 Medical Baseline  customers
  • Glenn County: 207 customers,10 Medical Baseline customers
  • Humboldt County: 681 customers, 16 Medical Baseline customers
  • Lake County: 2,083 customers, 136 Medical Baseline customers
  • Lassen County: 65 customers, 7 Medical Baseline customers
  • Mendocino County: 669 customers, 30 Medical Baseline customers 
  • Napa County: 2,041 customers, 99 Medical Baseline customers 
  • Nevada County: 133 customers, 3 Medical Baseline customers
  • Plumas County: 660 customers, 24 Medical Baseline customers
  • Shasta County: 19,999 customers, 1,713 Medical Baseline customers
  • Sierra County: 1,036 customers, 30 Medical Baseline customers
  • Solano County: 44 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
  • Sonoma County: 240 customers, 9 Medical Baseline customer
  • Tehama County: 7,473 customers, 671 Medical Baseline customers
  • Trinity County: 428 customers, 21 Medical Baseline customers
  • Yolo County: 11 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
  • Yuba County: 487 customers, 47 Medical Baseline customers

Customers can look up their address online to find out if their location is being monitored for the potential safety shutoff at