The Wall Street Journal: California at heightened risk of wildfires, blackouts this week

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The National Weather Service issued high-level fire warnings for Southern California on Sunday, while PG&E Corp. warned of more power outages in Northern California where high winds and dry conditions also posed a fire risk.

PG&E PCG, +10.75%  , California’s largest power company, said it might cut electricity starting Wednesday for roughly 180,000 homes and businesses around San Jose, Santa Rosa, and in the Sierra foothills. All have already experienced preventive blackouts intended to reduce the danger of winds damaging power lines and igniting fires.

The National Weather Service’s “Red Flag” warnings were in effect into Monday for areas including the mountains of Los Angeles County and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys because of dry, hot weather.

“Any new fire ignitions will have the potential for rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior, especially considering the very dry fuels in place,” the federal government weather agency said.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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