California Businesses Close Amid Power Outages Prompted by Wildfire Risk

A shopping center in Oakland, California, was close to deserted on Thursday, October 10, after businesses closed amid a power shutoff that left thousands without electricity in an attempt to prevent wildfires.

The power cut – which impacted around 750,000 customers – was prompted by a forecast for “dry, windy weather” that posed a fire risk, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said.

The shutoff came as the Briceburg Fire burned in central California. The fire had consumed 4,900 acres and was 25 percent contained as of Thursday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

This video, filmed by Vassil Mladjov in Oakland, shows darkened businesses and police cars stationed at intersections with temporary stop signs set up. It also shows a Lucky California supermarket, which had power because of a large generator outside.

“Everything is closed because there is no power,” Mladjov says in the video. “Cops are on every corner trying to anticipate what [will] happen with traffic.”

Mladjov said in the video that the Montclair Village shopping center was “dead” and would normally be “buzzing” in the morning.

PG&E projected the “weather event” would subside in the Bay Area by midday on Thursday. A specific power restoration time was not listed by PG&E, but it noted outages could last longer than two days as crews had to inspect and possibly repair equipment first. Credit: @vassko via Storyful