PG&E shuts off power to California residents to preempt wildfires

Tens of thousands of California residents found their power shut off Sunday or Monday as a result of a surprise preemptive move to curtail wildfires by PG&E.

The utility shut off power in extreme fire-risk areas of several counties in the North Bay Area and Sierra Foothills. PG&E said it decided to do so based on localized weather forecasts calling for wind gusts of up to 50 mph Sunday night into Monday morning.

Approximately 42,000 customers were affected by the outages Sunday evening. The total grew to 59,819 customers Monday morning, according to PG&E.

Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lake, Napa and Somona counties are affected by the outages.

Meanwhile on the Central Coast, a red flag warning is in effect Monday morning through Tuesday evening in the mountains of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and the foothills of the Cuyama Valley. Gusty offshore winds and low humidity are expected in the areas, according to the National Weather Service.

A Cal Fire map shows parts of southeastern San Luis Obispo County and possibly a section of the city of SLO are affected by the fire warning. Strong Santa Ana winds are expected in those areas, and residents should be prepared for evacuation orders, according to Cal Fire.