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Prepare For More Frequent PSPS Events

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Sonora, CA — PG&E is advising officials in high fire risk areas to expect the possibility of more frequent planned power outages in the coming months.

The PSPS events have occurred over the past two years in late summer and early fall as a way to reduce fire risk ahead of the wet winter season.

While it is impossible to predict future weather conditions, a typical year will likely see an increase in PSPS frequency.

Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Dore Bietz explains, “PG&E, because of higher-level legal issues from the state, has been mandated that there are certain new thresholds where they will need to increase PSPS in certain (high fire risk) areas, and we are definitely one of those areas, because of high fire risk.”

Other high fire-risk communities, outside the Mother Lode and up and down the state, have also been alerted to prepare for an increase in PSPS frequency. More information will likely be known in the coming months.

PG&E says it will be increasing its resources for public power shutoffs this year. It includes refining the customer notification system, providing better address alerts, expanding Community Resource Centers, increasing meal replacement services for food banks, and helping communities plan and develop their own electric microgrids.