PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — Thousands lost power Monday night into Tuesday as part of PG&E’s planned power outages due to the high fire danger.
It’s the first Public Safety Power Shutoff of the year, but this time it’s happening while many are stuck at home.
Fire engines flew through El Dorado County Tuesday. Rod Repschlaeger is on his local fire safety board. He says today’s conditions are simply dangerous with little fires everywhere.
“Everything is just so darn dry,” Repschlaeger said.
PG&E cut power in Placerville and surrounding towns in the county last year during high fire danger days. With the same shutoffs in effect again now, things like generators are flying off shelves at local hardware stores.
“I think people are feeling anxious,” said store owner Jeff Gutterez, who says he can’t keep up with the high demand. “That stock only lasts a certain amount of time.”
Neighbors rushed to prepare for PSPS potential shutoffs last year, too. Now, it may be too late. The vegetation is dry and the wind is high.
“The risk for wildfire is really high right now,” said Denise Swart with Cal Fire.
The Cal Fire headquarters in Camino is running on a generator. Power was out there too Tuesday afternoon.
Swart says the tiniest spark can cause a lot of damage. They’re even seeing fires start from generators themselves.
“If we do get a spark, that wind can take it and it can go really quick,” said Swart.
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Calfire staff is running thin, First Responders are battling neighboring wildfires across the state.
But we’re told they’re bringing in reinforcements from Nevada to Texas, in case one of those sparks ignites closer to home.
“We are still positioning ourselves to get that initial attack and we want to keep those fires small,” said Swart.
Cal Fire says the public can help with that by not running your lawnmower and making sure generators or air conditioners you’re using are up to date and functioning properly so they won’t create sparks of their own.
Customers in Placer, Nevada, El Dorado, Tuolumne and Yuba counties are all on the list of counties bracing to lose power.