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Unhealthy air quality persists, dry thunderstorms could ignite more fires 

–Unhealthy air quality persists Saturday in the North County, due to San Luis Obispo County being in the direct path of smoke from fires in Monterey County and farther north. SLO Clean Air reports a forecast of “very unhealthy” amounts of particulates in the air today, and “unhealthy” levels on Sunday. Conditions will be dependent on the fires, containment efforts, and weather and wind patterns. The high temperature for Saturday in Paso Robles is expected to be 95 degrees.

Click here to see an air quality map and more information about the alert: https://www.slocleanair.org/air-quality/air-forecasting-map.php

Fires filling Paso Robles skies with smoke

Close to 560 fires are now burning in Califonia, with more fires expected to ignite due to expected “dry lightning” thunderstorms in the Bay Area possible again Sunday through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Any thunderstorms that occur will bring the potential for new fire starts and erratic gusty winds, so a Fire Weather Watch has been issued.

• The Dolan Fire burning south of Big Sur grew to 8,500 acres Friday, still with no containment as of 10 p.m. on Friday. That fire is burning north of Limekiln State Park and is threatening the communities of Partington, Big Sur and Lucia, as well as multiple businesses, communications sites, parks and recreational sites, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

• The River Fire burning South of Salinas has burned at least 44,987 acres and was 12-percent contained as of Saturday morning.

• The Carmel Fire located near Carmel Valley Road, 3.5 East of Carmel Valley Village has burned 5,523 and is 5-percent contained as of Saturday morning.

• The largest group of blazes, the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, charred nearly 230,000 acres across five Northern California counties, including Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa.

• Firefighting crews battled flames in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties through the night and made gains in containing the CZU August Lightning Complex with favorable weather conditions and moderate fire activity, according to a story by SF Gate. The blaze was 57,000 acres with 2-percent containment before nightfall on Friday. The CZU Complex is now 63,000 acres with 5-percent containment, Cal Fire officials said Saturday morning.

The pink denotes areas that are in “Red Alert.” The triangles represent “hot spots” and the circle fire icons represent fires. Click here to see a current fire activity map.

PG&E urges customers to conserve energy

PG&E issued the following tips regarding preparing for a disaster and conserving power to prevent grid collapse:

Dear customers,

The past week has been extraordinarily difficult for many of us in California, with record-breaking heat, rotating power outages, urgent calls for power conservation, and now terribly destructive wildfires sparked by lightning and fueled by dry brush.
As we endure these challenges together, PG&E wants our customers to know we are in this together with you and want to help you stay safe. In the days ahead, we encourage you to take the following actions:

1. Be ready for an emergency
PG&E offers many resources to help you prepare for emergencies, including wildfires. Start by visiting our dedicated safety website, www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com. You’ll find tools and tips on several preparedness topics, including how to:
• Create an emergency plan.
• Stock your emergency kit.
• Clear defensible space around your home or business.

2. Update your contact information
PG&E also urges our customers to provide us your contact information so we can reach you with important safety alerts and updates during wildfire season. If you have not yet confirmed or updated your contact information, including mobile numbers and email addresses, please visit www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or call 866-743-6589. This is especially critical for medical baseline customers.

In addition to notifying customers directly, PG&E also will provide outage updates and information on social media, local news, radio and our website, www.pge.com.

3. Continue conserving power
We want to thank you for your actions to conserve electricity this week, especially during the afternoons and evenings, which helped avoid the need for the California Independent System Operator to call for further rotating outages. It was a testament to how we can accomplish great things together that help all of us.
With temperatures still high across the state, it remains important to monitor your energy usage and conserve where you can, to help balance electricity supply and demand on the larger grid. Visit www.pge.com/tips for ways to save.

It remains our privilege to serve you with gas and electricity, and to be part of the communities we all call home.

Laurie Giammona
Chief Customer Officer
Pacific Gas and Electric Company



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.