The San Diego utility blamed for starting some of last year's wildfires has suspended its wildfire prevention plan of shutting off power in the backcountry during extreme weather.

San Diego Gas & Electric made the announcement Thursday after the state Public Utilities Commission asked to review the proposal. Utility President Debra Reed said she hopes to implement the plan next year.

The utility had planned to shut off power to 45,000 customers in remote areas during dry, windy weather. Critics said the plan could leave water systems and firefighters in the dark. Water districts have sued to stop any shutoffs.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection blames the utility's arcing power lines for sparking the Witch, Guejito and Rice fires last fall .

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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