OAKHURST, Calif. (KSEE) — Many residents in Fresno and Madera counties are in the dark Sunday night after PG&E issued rolling blackouts as part of another public safety shutoff due to dry and windy conditions in parts of the state that could spark more wildfires.
There are over a hundred resource centers set up throughout the state. The centers have wifi, food, blankets and other supplies to help people affected by the shutoff.
“We are seeing a dangerous combination of factors with this forecast – high winds, low humidity, record dry fuels, and severe drought,” PG&E Spokesperson, Melissa Subbotin said.
Due to wildfire concerns, PG&E has started a Public Safety Power Shutoff that could affect almost 361,000 customers across 36 California counties, including Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa.
“They’re really a tool that we utilize only when we determine it’s absolutely necessary to protect the safety of our customers. We recognize that they pose difficult challenges for many of our customers, we understand that. That’s why it’s our goal to make them smarter, smaller, and shorter,” Subbotin said.
Subbotin says they’re hopeful that the winds will start to die down on Monday, so crews can begin restoration efforts – surveying areas on foot and by helicopter.
“They’ll be looking for incidents of damage, any trees or tree branches that have come into contact with our line,” Subbotin said. “It’s our goal to restore customers within 12 daylight hours once we do receive that weather all clear.”
Officials are also warning people who live in the Creek Fire burn areas to be careful because those high winds could pick some of the debris that’s still on the ground.