SAN FRANCISCO — Firefighters and officials at California’s largest utility company braced for hot, dry and windy weather in northern and central areas of the state this weekend that may fan the flames of several major wildfires or ignite new ones.
Pacific Gas & Electric warned Friday it may cut power from Sunday morning to Monday, potentially affecting 97,000 customers in 16 counties, during which forecasters said a ridge of high pressure will raise temperatures and generate gusts flowing from the interior to the coast.
PG&E initially warned that approximately 21,000 customers in three counties would lose power beginning Saturday evening but expanded the potential shutoff when the forecast changed.
The utility is tracking the weather to determine if it would be necessary to shut off power to areas where gusts could damage the company’s equipment or hurl debris into lines that can ignite flammable vegetation.
When heavy winds were predicted earlier this month, PG&E cut power to about…