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US Wildfires rage in California as residents scramble without power

15:33  10 october  2019
15:33  10 october  2019 Source:   cbsnews.com

California adds new rules for planned power shutoffs under laws signed by Newsom

  California adds new rules for planned power shutoffs under laws signed by Newsom Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Wednesday to tighten the rules for utility power shutoffs as California grapples with more frequent planned outages when potentially dangerous wildfire conditions exist.The new requirements call for investor-owned utilities to create plans to lessen the effects of outages on customers with sensitive medical needs and notify all emergency responders, healthcare providers and public safety groups within an outage area. The laws are among roughly two dozen bills related to wildfires that Newsom has signed into law this year.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Ken Pimlott called the Northern California wildfires , "a serious, critical and catastrophic event." Tens of thousands of residents have also been left without power as a result of fires destroying infrastructure. Smoke and ash from the fires has

California wildfires : Three major blazes — Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires — are raging across California . Our live coverage of the California wildfires has ended. Go here or scroll through the posts below to read Residents refused to leave because they were afraid they wouldn't be able to

California faces a critical fire danger Thursday morning, as at least a half dozen wildfires burn across the state. Forecasters say high winds and low humidity are only increasing the risk.

Swaying trees and power lines would increase the wildfire threat — if the power wasn't already cut. But on Wednesday, the weather conditions prompted the state's largest power utility, PG&E, to preemptively shut off electricity to more than 700,000 customers.

California power outage: What happens when the lights go out

  California power outage: What happens when the lights go out Power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses is expected to go out, affecting millions of people in California, starting early Wednesday. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said a forecast of extreme wind and dry weather has created fire danger of an unprecedented scope, prompting it to initiate the largest preventive outage in state history to reduce the risk of wildfires sparked by faulty power lines. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Here are some questions and answers about the outage.

Week-old wildfire in southern California is one of 2,500 to flare up in state this year, as authorities struggle to contain blazes during ‘extreme to exceptional drought’.

美 캘리포니아 산불 2주째 확산 Wildfires in California continue to rage on and have pushed towards prosperous coastal cities. Authorities ordered residents in parts of

Ron Blasingame, a resident who's trying to cope with the blackout, said he's regretting not buying a generator.

"They're gone," he said. "Nobody has those."

a sunset over a fire: Wildfires rage in California© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Wildfires rage in California

Blasingame said PG&E hasn't been doing its job to keep its infrastructure safe. "They haven't cleared the brush from their lines, but they want to pay dividends and give their executives money," he said. "It's a public utility — we're paying for that."

"What's your message to PGE?" asked CBS News national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti.

"Do your job," Blasingame said. "Protect the public."

Many residents waited in long lines to fill their gas tanks, before the pumps lost electricity and shut down.

a car parked on the side of a road: California residents wait in long lines to fill gas tanks© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. California residents wait in long lines to fill gas tanks

Barry Friedman's home improvement store lost power, but he managed to keep it open by guiding customers by flashlight to purchase goods.

"There's a lot of people coming in here," Vigliotti said. "Is it fair to say some of them were caught off guard by this?"

"Oh for sure…" Friedman responded. "Unfortunately, we've run out of some of those products that they need."

Debbie Medina relies on her CPAP machine and oxygen generators to stay alive, and her condition prevents her from getting to community centers. "What are you going to do with people like myself?" she asked. "Because I know I'm not the only one."

Fixing this problem will cost a lot of money: PG&E said putting existing overhead lines in fire threat areas underground could cost as much as $110 billion.

After power is restored to large swath of California, PG&E claims shut-off prevented wildfires .
Utility says downed power lines could have been fire risk as infuriated governor called on state regulators to investigate the intentional outage.Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility, shut down power in stages last week to nearly 1 million customers in a ring around the Bay Area, from wine country to near the Oregon border, and as far east as several Sierra Nevada counties.

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