UPDATE 11:00 p.m. — Here is our latest, Mendocino will not be experiencing a planned power shut-off:
MENDOCINO Co., 9/24/19 — Critical fire weather, with breezy winds, low humidity, and high temperatures, continues across the region, and much of Mendocino County and the North Bay remain under an official “red flag warning” from the National Weather Service. Pacific Gas & Electric is monitoring the situation and may perform a planned power outage, something they call a “public safety power shut-off,” in southern Lake County, as well as portions of Sonoma and Napa counties. However, a spokesperson for PG&E has stated that as of about 2 p.m. there were no plans to shut off power in Mendocino County.
The specific areas affected can be seen at this page on PG&E’s website, which has details Google Map overlays showing the potential shut-off areas:
It is unclear whether a shut-off means that PG&E will be de-energizing all power lines, including their high-power transmission lines, or if they will just be shutting down their distribution lines. The different between the two can be understood as the difference between a major freeway and a residential side street — the transmission lines are major power-lines carrying huge loads of electricity to substations where the power is split to the smaller distribution lines that go to individual streets, then homes and businesses.
If you’d like to learn more about how that works, check out our special map project, which includes details maps of power transmission and a variety of other pieces of local infrastructure.
Here is a screenshot of the local electrical grid, from out map website:
As these maps show the red flag warning remains in effect in the inland portions of Mendo:
Temperature as of time of publication (about 2:30 p.m.) were in the mid to high 90s in Ukiah, and temperatures are expected to climb even higher tomorrow, approaching triple digits in the inland valleys.
However, a sharp cooling trend is expected immediately after that across the West, potentially leading to freezing temperatures in the higher hills, within the next several days: