A utility company purposefully shut off electricity to nearly 60,000 Northern California customers Sunday night, aiming to reduce power lines during extreme winds.

Pacific Gas and Electric to be 70 percent of North Bay and Sierra Foothills late Monday night.

While it is the first time the company shut down for public safety, PG & E has announced its criteria and procedures for such an event in June, said spokesperson Paul Doherty. After wildfires devastated Northern California's wine country last October, he added, PG & E developed its community wildfire safety program to make power grids and communities more resilient.

Two PGs and PGs said they were one of those wildfires during heavy winds, killing four people and injuring a firefighter, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated earlier this month. Trees or tree branches hitting PG & E power lines started another four wildfires in October 2017. Altogether, the power company has been blamed for igniting 13 wildfires last year.

"Doherty said the safety program. "That's really the bottom line for us."

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Pat Hogan, senior vice president of electrical operations, said in a statement. The weather conditions included the National Weather Service's red flag fire warnings, humidity levels, sustained winds, temperature, dry fuel and local terrain, Doherty said.

The company has more than 2,150 miles of distribution power lines Sunday night. Many schools in the area were closed Monday because of the planned power outage.

Late Saturday and early Sunday, PG & E warned 97,000 customers in 12 counties that the shut off might go into effect.

Power what so turned off in Southern California on Monday.

San Diego Gas & & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; and & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Electric turned off service to about 360 customers near Cleveland National Forest, where multiple fires have scorched large swaths of land in recent years.

SDG & E has pre-emptively shut down power to customers in the past, most recently in December when 14,000 customers went without power.

Southern California Edison, the primary electric provider across Southern California – including Los Angeles – has a similar power shutoff program. As of monday night, SCE had to turn off power in any of its service areas, a spokesperson told USA TODAY.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

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