Power Shut-Offs Become A Way Of Life For Many Californians

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Two new wildfires are raging in the Grassy hills of southern California and tens of thousands of people are under evacuate under evacuation orders. One of the fires the Silverado fire may have been sparked by a piece of debris hitting a power line according to a spokesperson for southern California. Edison. Meanwhile in Northern California, the utility pge shut down parts of it system to prevent its own power lines from sparking fires during strong winds and dry weather that has left hundreds of thousands of people there waiting for the lights to come back on after two days in the dark. These sorts of widespread power shut offs have become a way of life for many Californians and as. Lilly Jamali reports residents aren't happy in the tiny community of CON- cow about three hours northeast of San Francisco Jesse. Olsen and her family have lived through PG, and E. Power Shut offs not once. But twice in the last week, that's not easy it's like you're just recovering from one power outage and then you're preparing for the next one, a portable generator has helped them stay warm keep soanes charged for the kids at least try to do school. Online real. We also have a farm with livestock. So we have to keep the antibiotics refrigerated. The Olson's survived California's deadliest and most destructive fire, the two thousand, eighteen campfire but it burned down their home. It was sparked by old poorly maintained equipment belonging to pg knee online's that stayed active during peak conditions, and now we're all living in an RV. Olsen adopted her boys out of foster care. They'd been homeless before that I never wanted them to have to. Deal with homelessness ever again, you know they were supposed to have a forever home someplace where they felt safe for the rest of their lives, and now that's Gone Olsen calls PG needs power shut offs a necessary evil. Two hundred miles southeast Terry McBride has also suffered the consequences of fire and power shut offs. Her home in the community of mountain ranch was hit by a PG and caused fire five years ago. Twenty Four Hundred Square Foot House to a two hundred, fifty score for camping trailer. Just telling you if you didn't laugh, you'd cry she surviving PG needs power shut offs in her trailer. It's like when camping, you know my mom's got electricity and dress. So I was able to put my frozen stuff in her freezer so they don't go bad it's been tough, and while some PG fire survivors feel relief that the company is proactively cutting power McBride is frustrated at the utility for neglecting its lines for years. My feeling is why didn't you do your job in the first place? Why are we having to go through this? Now PG has promised to make long-term fixes to its lines. So power outages like these aren't permanent way of life for NPR news I'm Lily Jamali in San Francisco.

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