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Helina Thorp, right, 14, expresses frustration while unsuccessfully trying to log in to her school distance-learning classes while her mother, Virginia Thorp, attempts to call school officials from a Pacific Gas & Electric community resource center at the El Dorado Fairgrounds during a Public Safety Power Shutoff in Placerville, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. People in nearly 172,000 homes and businesses in parts of California were sweltering Tuesday without electricity as Pacific Gas & Electric intentionally shut off power to prevent wildfires amid high winds. The business and household customers without power were in areas including the Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada foothills, and parts of Napa and Sonoma counties in wine country. (Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

PG&E trying a new tactic in power cuts to prevent wildfires

Sep. 8, 2020 9:59 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The nation's largest utility said Tuesday it is executing smarter and shorter power shutoffs after receiving widespread criticism last year when it turned off electricity to 2 million people to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires. The targeted outages that began overnight to...