Moderate wind levels combined with Red Flag warnings have been enough for PGE to shutoff power to about 2 million people.
Red Flag Warnings are common and those warnings have not caused other electrical utilities to have major power shutdowns. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Roseville Electric Utility and Alameda Electric provide power in the same area and they continue to provide power to customers.
PGE is trying to protect itself because they have $30 billion in liability from fires that they caused over the last two years from poorly maintained lines and not properly cutting back trees and plants from near their lines.
Winds are below 10 mph in most places with power outages, but power is still not restored.
PGE has a long history of incompetence. PGE was responsible for poisoning the town of Hinkley. This was made into the movie Erin Brockovich.
From 1952 to 1966, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) dumped about 370 million gallons of chromium-tainted wastewater into unlined wastewater spreading ponds around the town of Hinkley, California, located in the Mojave Desert (about 120 miles north-northeast of Los Angeles).
PG&E used chromium 6, or hexavalent chromium (a cheap and efficient rust suppressor), in its compressor station for natural-gas transmission pipelines. Hexavalent-chromium compounds are genotoxic carcinogens.
In 1993, legal clerk Erin Brockovich began an investigation into the health impacts of the contamination. A class-action lawsuit about the contamination was settled in 1996 for $333 million.
In 2018, the Camp Fire killed 85 people, left several firefighters injured and razed more than 150,000 acres in Northern California.