Record heat gives way to likely power shutoffs in Shasta, Butte

PG&E trucks and workers are seen along California Highway 89 near Greenville on Aug. 7, 2021.

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Redding and the North State are moving from record-breaking heat and hazardous air quality this week to windy weather conditions that could force Pacific Gas & Electric Co. officials to cut power to nearly 39,000 residents in Shasta, Tehama and Butte counties.

Redding endured the hottest day of the summer so far on Sunday when the temperature reached a record-breaking 116 degrees under smoky skies that in some places reached “hazardous” levels. 

But a change is in the air, with the high temperatures this week dropping down into the 90s and offshore winds picking up Tuesday. The hot and dry conditions, though, could mean trouble for the utility.

With winds of up to 26 mph forecast for Tuesday, PG&E said it may have to cut power to customers in some areas to prevent trees and branches from being blown into energized power lines and starting fires.