Why PSPS occurs
Cause of PSPS
California, Oregon, Washington, and other western states continue to experience an increase in wildfire risk and a longer wildfire season. The combination of dry conditions and high winds can cause trees and debris to contact energized lines, damage our equipment and cause a wildfire. We may need to turn off power during severe weather to help prevent wildfires. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
How a PSPS is determined
As each weather situation is unique, we carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off. These factors include:
Low humidity levels
Low humidity levels generally 30% and below
Forecasted high winds above 20 mph and gusts above 30-40 mph
Condition of dry material on the ground and vegetation near lines
Red Flag Warning
A Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service
On-the-ground, real-time observations
Our decision-making process is evolving to also account for the presence of trees tall enough to strike power lines when determining if a PSPS is necessary
Weather and outage information for your area
To help you stay safe and informed, we have created the following tools to monitor PSPS and their potential impacts.
Find live weather information, including a 7-day PSPS potential look ahead.
View current weather, including humidity, precipitation, temperature, wind speeds, wind gusts and Red Flag Warnings.
Report and view current outages by area and look up address specific outage information.
To report or view current outages, visit our outages map.
Find current information on PSPS and learn how you may be impacted.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has categorized regions according to their wildfire risk. Homes and businesses with power lines in elevated (Tier 2) or extreme (Tier 3) wildfire risk areas have a higher chance of being affected by a PSPS.
Although you may not live or work in a high fire-threat area or an area experiencing high winds, your power may be shut off if your community relies on a line that runs through an area that is experiencing extreme weather.
Tier 3 fire-threat areas depict areas where there is an extreme risk (including likelihood and potential impacts on people and property) of wildfires.
Tier 2 fire-threat areas depict areas where there is an elevated risk (including likelihood and potential impacts on people and property) of wildfires.
To learn more about high fire-threat areas, visit the CPUC High Fire-Threat District map website.