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Bay Area Heatwave Causes Fires and Power Outages

Angelo DeSantis
Heatwave brings sunset and clouds over golden gate bridge


A heat wave, coupled with lightning and wind gusts, sparked fires and power outages Sunday morning. 

Fire officials say lightning caused as many as 20 brush fires, and 150 homes are in the path of the expanding Deer Zone Fires in Contra Costa County. Northwest of Milpitas, the Marsh Fire grew to 1,775 acres with zero containment, as of Monday morning. 

Fires aren’t the only problem associated with this scorching, dry, and windy weather. It’s also led to state-wide power outages. Utility officials say these conditions knock down electrical equipment and power lines.

This heat wave also means more residents are using excessive power to cool their homes. This places a huge burden on the entire grid. That’s why PG&E is cutting off power in different areas at a time. This weekend, more than 200,000 homes and businesses lost power in the Bay Area. 

The group that manages California’s grid issued a statewide alert asking customers to use less power from now until Wednesday night.  



Visit theISO website to check real-time power grid conditions

The PG&E Outage Center features real-time updates. You can report an outage and sign up for outage alerts.


Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.