wildfire weather forecast california 20192025_00000206.jpg
wildfire weather forecast california 20192025_00000206.jpg
Now playing
01:48
The strongest Northern California wind event of the season is expected this weekend
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:04
NYT: Second former aide accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment
PHOTO: CNN Weather
Now playing
02:23
Over 25 million people under threat for severe storms and flash flooding
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
PHOTO: House TV
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Now playing
02:52
House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:54
'Biggest trial of my life': Landlord says eviction moratorium has drained her savings
Jeremy Lin
PHOTO: Getty Images
Jeremy Lin
Now playing
03:40
Ex-NBA star Jeremy Lin says he's been called 'coronavirus' on the court
covid-19 relief package house biden sot malveaux nr vpx _00000000.png
PHOTO: CNN
covid-19 relief package house biden sot malveaux nr vpx _00000000.png
Now playing
02:28
CNN's Joe Johns explains Biden's short speech as relief bill heads to Senate
Misinformation Trump Capitol March rn orig_00004630.png
Misinformation Trump Capitol March rn orig_00004630.png
Now playing
04:08
These Trump supporters are convinced he will be president again on March 4
PHOTO: Isaac Abrack
Now playing
03:00
Hear from schoolgirl who escaped abduction in Nigeria
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
PHOTO: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
Now playing
02:10
US intel report: Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week
PHOTO: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:33
This is what's in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus package
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
09:36
I lost everything: Texas mom's devastating story from winter storm
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM        (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Daniel Slim/Getty Images
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
05:24
US carries out airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups
(CNN) —  

California’s largest utility company is warning about 850,000 customers that another intentional power outage may leave them in the dark this weekend.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been cutting off electricity for customers in northern and central California over the past weeks in an attempt to avoid sparking wildfires. But this could be the utility’s largest outage this year.

Estimates indicate the potential outage could affect more than 2 million people, a spokesperson with the company said.

Customers across 36 counties in Northern and Central California may lose power through the weekend due to a round of gusty winds in the state, the utility announced Friday.

Some of the areas that may be impacted are Humboldt, the Sierra foothills, Western Sacramento Valley and the greater Bay Area. Paradise, which was devastated by last year’s deadly Camp Fire, could also be impacted by the blackout.

While the shutoff is not confirmed yet, the utility said it could begin Saturday and last until midday Monday.

PG&E officials are expected to make a decision by 8 a.m. (local time) on Saturday, a utility spokesman said.

If the blackout is needed, PG&E Vice President Sumeet Singh said, the utility will start by shutting off power in 13 counties in the Northern Sierra foothills at 3 p.m. (local time).

Eight more counties in the North Bay and Mendoncino area would lose power at 5 p.m. The Bay Area, coast and southern portion of the Sierra Foothills would be impacted at 7 p.m.

The planned power outage could last for several days, the utility said, to prevent a “catastrophic wildfire.”

The news of the potential outage comes as the utility is in the process of restoring power to about 179,000 customers in Northern California. Power was restored to 99% of its customers on Friday, with the exception of Sonoma County where the Kincade Fire continues burning, the utility said.

In recent years, PG&E has been under fire for the role its equipment played in a series of catastrophic blazes across the state, including last year’s deadly Camp Fire.

California is preparing for historic winds

Strong winds have been fueling the Kincade fire in Sonoma County for several days but forecasters say stronger wind gusts are expected to begin Saturday.

“The upcoming wind event has the potential to be one of the strongest in the last several years. It’s also likely to be longer than recent wind events, which have lasted about 12 hours or less,” said Scott Strenfel, a PG&E meteorologist.

Forecasters are expecting winds of 30-55 mph with gusts of 60-80 mph beginning Saturday night, the National Weather Service said. The winds can blow down trees, power lines and made it difficult for most vehicles to travel, including those pulling trailers.

“This will be a long duration and potentially extreme/historic even across the North Bay,” the weather service in San Francisco said in an advisory.

The weekend winds could be strongest recorded in the area since several fires devastated California’s wine country in 2017. High winds, dry conditions fanned the flames in Sonoma and Napa counties, forcing thousands to evacuate and killing dozens.

CNN’s Sarah Moon and Alberto Moya contributed to this report.