California utility shuts off power over wildfire risk

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MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) - Southern California Edison has shut off electricity to more than 14,000 customers in the Sierra Nevada because of high winds that could knock down power lines and pose a wildfire threat.

The utility cut power Monday afternoon to areas of Mono and Inyo counties, including Mammoth Lakes, Owens Valley an area near Lee Vining and near Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.

The National Weather Service issued a warning in the area until 9 p.m. for winds that could gust to 50 mph.

The outage affects nearly 14,000 people in Mono County and about 700 in Inyo.

State regulators in May approved allowing utilities to cut power to avoid the chance of catastrophic wildfires, like one that killed 86 people and largely destroyed the Northern California town of Paradise.

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