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Image credit: US DoD -photo by Master Sgt. Christopher DeWitt, U.S. Air Force

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) initiated a safety power shutoff across California on 26 October following state governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration of a statewide wildfire emergency.

The governor’s office cautioned the public on anticipated “unprecedented high-wind events” which have driven the spread of fires across the state since Wednesday 23 October.

Reports note the fires may have been started by faulty powerlines.

The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County burned more than 30,000 acres in recent days, torching hundreds of buildings and almost 200,000 people were evacuated from the area, whilst the Tick Fire in Southern California has also caused widespread damage and disruption.

PG&E’s safety power shutoff across the state left up to 940,000 households and businesses without electricity.

Newsom announced a $75 million programme for state and local governments to manage demand an minimise the impact of shutoff. “We are deploying every resource available and are coordinating with numerous agencies as we continue to respond to these fires.

“It is critical that people in evacuation zones heed the warnings from officials and first responders and have the local and state resources they need as we fight these fires.”

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