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California sets rules for cutting power to prevent wildfires

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California regulators say the state’s utilities must do a better job educating and notifying the public and particularly vulnerable populations as they widen precautionary power outages this summer.

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved guidelines for when utilities can cut electricity during high winds and low humidity so that they don’t spark wildfires like the one that devastated the Northern California community of Paradise last fall, killing 85 people.

Commissioners required utilities to improve how they educate residents on the need for shutting off power and how to prepare. Utilities must work with the state’s Office of Emergency Services to join their warning programs with existing state and local emergency warning systems.

Commissioners separately approved utilities’ wildfire prevention plans, which include cutting back vegetation and improving electric lines.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

Associated Press

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