Hundreds of thousands brace for power shutoffs as California fires burn 2m acres

Altogether, 721,000 people could be affected by these preventive measures, posing significant risks to the physically vulnerable

Hundreds of thousands of Californians are bracing for preventive power shutoffs, as wildfires have burned a record 2m acres across the state and the pandemic keeps many confined to their homes.

The first wave of power shutoffs started late Monday night, with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) cutting power to 172,000 homes and businesses in 22 counties in northern California because of strong winds and dry conditions in the forecast. The utility also planned to shut off power to customers in Kern county, north of Los Angeles, starting Tuesday afternoon.

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