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Windy conditions keep California burning — and its power out

California utility company Pacific Gas & Electric is cutting power to customers for the fourth time this month, as wildfires rage and high winds persist. The measure aims to keep downed power lines from sparking new blazes. Many residents have had to evacuate, and with winds forecast to gust up to 80 miles per hour Tuesday night, their timeline for return is unknown. Stephanie Sy reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: High winds fueled new fire dangers and new power blackouts in California.

    Stephanie Sy has our report.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    The winds across Northern California are picking up, and, with them, fears that the fires will only get worse.

    Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick told evacuees today not to go home yet.

  • Mark Essick:

    With the winds, we're going to get a lot of questions about repopulation, how people can get back to their homes, with a lot of anxiety and anxiousness there.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Communities across Northern California are also facing more blackouts. The new high wind advisory prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to begin cutting off power for the fourth time this month. It's aimed at preventing downed lines from sparking new fires.

    But the frequency of the widespread outages are adding to frayed nerves and frustrations. More than 1.5 million people are affected, on top of 2.5 million who lost power over the weekend.

    Then there are the many people living in evacuation shelters, anxiously waiting for the all-clear.

  • Dave Ashmore:

    It's quite frustrating. I mean, all the resources and everything that's going on is great, but it's very frustrating not knowing.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    And to the south, in Los Angeles, daylight revealed damaged homes and scorched hillsides from a fire near the famed Getty arts complex.

    L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that smoke clearing doesn't mean the area is completely safe.

  • Mayor Eric Garcetti:

    I'm sure we all have gotten phone calls saying and had conversations with people saying, well, there's not a lot of smoke, it should be fine to go home.

    I want to continue to tell people, listen to the professionals and the firefighters who are asking you to stay away and mandating that you stay away.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Wind speeds are expected to peak with gusts up to 80 miles per hour overnight on both ends of California.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

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