Why PSPS events occur
Cause of PSPS events
Wildfire conditions across California have intensified due to increased temperatures and dryness. The combination of dry vegetation and high winds can uproot trees, blow branches onto power lines or create sparks if power lines contact one another. When sparks come in contact with dry vegetation and winds are high, fires can spread quickly making them more difficult to control. These conditions call for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). PSPS outages occur across the state to prevent wildfires and keep communities safe.
How a PSPS is determined
Our Wildfire Safety Operation Center monitors the below weather factors to decide whether a PSPS is needed to keep communities safe. 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 does.
Red Flag Warning
A warning declared by the National Weather Service that weather conditions could lead to fire and rapid spread.
20% or lower humidity. Low humidity creates dry branches and vegetation which fuel fire.
Sustained wind speeds above 25 MPH and wind gusts above 45 MPH can cause fire to spread.
On-the-ground findings from PG&E crews.
Weather and outage information for your area
We created tools so you can see if your area may be impacted by a PSPS.
View a seven-day PSPS forecast by geographic zone. Find out whether your zone is at an elevated, PSPS watch or PSPS warning risk.
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.
The California Public Utilities Commission has categorized regions according to their wildfire risk. Those areas that have historically high winds and dry vegetation are generally in higher-risk tiers. 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. An entire power line may need to be shut off if fire conditions affect any portion of the line.
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.
Tier 1 high-hazard zones are areas with high numbers of dead and dying trees.
To learn more about high fire-threat areas, visit the California Public Utilities Commission website.