California's PG&E may shut off power again

24 0 BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**BROADCASTERS: NO USE. DIGITAL: NO USE AUSTRALIA BROADCASTERS. NO USE ABC, CNN, FOX, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, BBC AMERICA, NBC** As wildfires rage in southern California, residents have been warned… their utility company - Pacific Gas & Electric - may shut off power in parts of 17 counties for up to two days. That means people in more than 180,000 homes and businesses could find themselves in the dark. PG&E said it was tracking a 'dry, offshore wind event' that might impact its service area on Wednesday and Thursday. Since power lines can get knocked down and start fires in the dry vegetation, PG&E's CEO Bill Johnson said a planned blackout 'may' be necessary. (SOUNDBITE)(English) PG&E CEO, BILL JOHNSON, SAYING: "We are hoping that the weather breaks in our favor and we don't have to do this." The company did it earlier this month for the same reason. PG&E was widely criticized, including from Governor Gavin Newsom - for lack of planning AND failed communication. This time, it's sent out 48-hour advance notifications to customers about a potential power outage. In May, state fire investigators determined that PG&E transmission lines caused last year's Camp Fire - the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record. That has left PG&E potentially on the hook for $30 billion in liabilities - forcing the utility into bankruptcy earlier this year.