Marc Albert

Facing potential blackouts by Pacific Gas and Electric Company when fire danger is extreme, Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien last month proposed establishing an overnight curfew. O’Brien said his aim was starting a conversation in perhaps the largest city at risk—due to its location on the valley’s edge.

On Tuesday, officials were tentatively scheduled to discuss the matter along with alternatives. 

Nichols, Melburg And Rossetto

Firefighters were on high alert yesterday as thunderstorms and dry lightning struck Northern California. Though conditions didn’t prompt a Pacific Gas & Electric Company public safety power shutdown, concern that one could happen at any time has prompted discussion of setting a dusk to dawn curfew in Chico.


Activists dismissed Police Chief Michael O’Brien’s proposal at a city council meeting August 6th, and the concept seemed to have little support from the council.


Marc Albert

A proposal ordering nightly curfews in Chico should electricity be cut by Pacific Gas and Electric Company due to fire danger will undergo further study after receiving a chilly reception at a council meeting Tuesday night.  


After a combative reception from some members of the public, and only lukewarm support on the dais, Chico Mayor Randall Stone sent the emergency ordinance back to the drawing board.


Public safety and civil liberties will weigh heavily Tuesday when the Chico City Council considers declaring overnight curfews should electricity be cut due to fire risks.  


The proposed ordinance would establish a curfew from dusk to dawn in Chico when and if Pacific Gas & Electric Company severs electricity because of extreme fire danger. 


Noah Berger / AP Photo

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, whose poorly maintained equipment has been blamed for igniting several recent mega fires in Northern California, has agreed to pay $1 billion to local governments.

Attorneys representing 14 local public entities announced the settlement with PG&E on Tuesday to cover “taxpayer losses.” The fires include a 2015 fire in Calaveras County, a series of wine country fires in 2017 and the Camp Fire, which killed 85 people in Paradise and surrounding communities.

Marc Albert

Eager to learn why, and curious about how to cope, several dozen locals attended a Pacific Gas and Electric Company open house in Chico Wednesday evening, days after the company preemptively cut power, due to extreme wildfire risk.

The company is holding similar forums throughout its service area through July.  

Rich Pedronchelli / AP Photo

Extreme fire danger prompted Pacific Gas & Electric Company to interrupt electricity service to thousands over the weekend, in order to reduce the risk of wildfire.


NSPR’s Marc Albert spoke with PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno about the company’s decision to trigger precautionary blackouts when dangerous fire weather conditions are occurring.

Marc Albert

Utilities throughout Paradise and some surrounding areas will be rebuilt and moved underground; a huge surprise that prompted a standing ovation at a crucial town council meeting Wednesday night.

Residents rose to their feet as new information, essentially direction from a federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of California’s largest utility, was relayed by Aaron Johnson, a Pacific Gas & Electric Company electrical division vice president.


A 20 megawatt hydro-electric generating system made up in parts by some gold rush relics, could be abandoned or get a new operator. Pacific Gas and Electric Company said Thursday that it plans to withdraw an application for a new license to run the Butte County facility from federal regulators.

Marc Albert / NSPR

In the end, just about everyone got their way.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company received permission to ax 32 trees along a Butte County road Tuesday, ending a yearlong dustup with local environmentalists.

The tree removal, part of a PG&E project said to improve safety along its natural gas transmission lines, garnered heated community protests. Environmentalists, led by the Butte Environment Council, dropped their opposition after the plan was revised.