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San Diego Power Will be Cut During Wildfire Threat

SDG&E power lines in rural San Diego appear in this undated photo.

Photo by ginsnob / Flickr

Above: SDG&E power lines in rural San Diego appear in this undated photo.

Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Above: San Diego Week host Gloria Penner speaks with local editors about SDG&E's plan to cut power to rural residents to avoid accidental fires during fire season.

Power lines will be shut down in rural parts of San Diego County during windy, dry spells when the wildfire danger is greatest.

San Diego Gas & Electric transmission lines have been blamed for several past wildfires, including the devastating Witch Creek, Guejito and Rice Canyon fires in October 2007.

The utility said Tuesday it would cut electricity in rural areas with or without regulatory approval starting Sept. 1, when the peak wildfire season begins with the arrival of Santa Ana winds.

San Diego County supervisors are opposed to the power shutdown plan.

The utility decided to go ahead with the plan after the California Public Utilities Commission announced it cannot complete a "careful, deliberate" review the plan before Sept. 10.

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