PG&E shuts off power to Marin County to minimize fire risk


Marin County firefighters put out a small fire on Fern Canyon in Mill Valley the night before the power shutoff. (Ethan Swope)

By Johanna Meezan

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will shut down the power supply on Wednesday, October 9 to both parts of Marin County, including Mill Valley, Bolinas, Sausalito, and Stinson Beach, and across California to preemptively reduce the risk of wildfires caused by high winds, low humidity, and dry fuels. 

“As a precautionary measure to reduce wildfire risk during the forecasted severe wind event, PG&E confirmed that it will implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) in portions of 34 northern, central and coastal counties, affecting electric service for nearly 800,000 customers,” PG&E said in a news release. 

These outages may last several days. 

“Given the prolonged period during which the wind event will unfold, and the large number of power line miles that will need to be inspected before restoration, customers are being asked to prepare for an extended outage,” the news release said.

Superintendent Tara Taupier said in an email to Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) on Tuesday afternoon that while there will be no change to the school schedule on October 9 as it is already a school holiday, Yom Kippur, for the district, if the intentional power outage continues to the following day, school will be canceled. The district policy as detailed by Taupier also states that if the power is turned off while school is in session, the school will keep students, if at all possible, in class through the end of the day.