Bankrupt PG&E Has a New Plan for California Wildfire Victims

(TNS) — PG&E Corp., struggling to regain control of its destiny as its bankruptcy case enters a pivotal phase, sweetened its offer to Northern California wildfire victims Monday, putting billions of additional dollars on the table to settle claims.

Under increasing pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom, the utility’s own bondholders and a consortium of municipalities trying to take over the company, PG&E said it would spend an additional $6.6 billion on wildfire claims, a move that could give the troubled utility a greater likelihood of surviving bankruptcy with its business intact.

900,000 Californians Prepare for Another Blackout Wednesday

(TNS) — More than 900,000 people in 25 California counties — including every Bay Area county but San Francisco — could lose power starting Wednesday as windy, dry conditions will greatly increase fire risk.

PG&E said Monday that 303,000 homes and businesses — each one roughly equivalent to 3 people — could be impacted as the company tries to stop its power lines from starting more fires. In the Bay Area, about 115,000 homes and businesses, equivalent to 345,000 people, could be impacted.

PG&E Warns of Possible Northern California Blackouts at Mid-Week

PG&E Corp. is warning a quarter-million homes and businesses could lose power in northern California starting Wednesday as high winds return to the region.

A fire weather watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of northern California from late Tuesday night to Thursday morning. PG&E said in a statement overnight it may cut power to customers in the North Bay, North Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada due to the forecast.

Latest PG&E Power Shutdown Left Marin County, Calif., with Safety Concerns

(TNS) - Last month’s power shutdowns by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. left nagging questions about Marin County’s communications system and whether senior housing facilities in the county are prepared for the next shutdown.

On Oct. 27, when PG&E switched off electricity to most of Marin, nearly 50 percent of the county’s cell phone transmission sites failed. The next day 57 percent of the cell sites, 134 transmitters, were down in Marin, and the day after that more than 35 percent of the sites remained offline. No other county in the state had its communications system disrupted to this extent by the power outage.

Californians Jumpy but Building Back a Year After Camp Fire

(TNS) - Chainsaws were humming and backhoes were beeping. Wood frames were being hammered into place.

It was the sound of Paradise rebuilding, one nail at a time.

“I love it up here — it’s beautiful,” said Holly Austin, watching from a camper as her husband and a small crew worked on their new garage on Paradise Avenue.

One year after the Camp Fire destroyed much of the town in California’s deadliest wildfire, Paradise is coming back to life. Eleven homes have been rebuilt, and the town has issued more than 300 permits to those who lost their homes and wouldn’t think of moving elsewhere.

Online Resources Offer Relief to California Fire Victims

Fires have terrorized Californians in the last several weeks, and various organizations from the private and public sectors have responded by offering an array of resources to help those who have been injured or displaced.

One resource comes from software company Socrata: a map of available Federal Emergency Management Agency shelters and open homes. The map has a search bar where a user can enter an address, at which point the map zooms in on that location, revealing any nearby places of refuge.

California Town Devastated by Wildfire Rebuilds, But Is It Any Safer a Year Later

There was “no way in hell” Victoria Sinclaire was rebuilding in Paradise, Calif.

She’d thought she was going to die during the six hours it took her to escape the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The town where she’d raised her family was nearly wiped out, two of her three cats had disappeared into the flames, and she “was done.”

Kincade Fire Evacuees Crowd Strip Malls, Fairgrounds, Campgrounds

(TNS) - Like nomads, thousands of people fleeing the ferocious 75,000-acre Kincade Fire have been migrating south — town to town — trying to stay a step ahead of the destructive blaze that has been steadily expanding since it broke out near Geyserville last Wednesday night.

Many of the more than 180,000 evacuees moved into the homes of family and friends to await news of when they can safely return, hopefully to homes that are still standing. But many others have had to sleep in evacuation centers, their cars and RVs, county fairgrounds and even campgrounds. Hotels across the region have been booked solid by fire refugees.

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