CHICO — If you were among nearly 3,900 PG&E customers to lose power about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday night, blame somebody with a pretty good aim.

A power company spokesman said gunfire, which could have taken place long before the outage, damaged conductors and insulators on poles in two locations.

When PG&E rerouted power from a Magalia substation Wednesday in order to do some work on the facility, the extra juice was enough to take down lines at weak spots hit by the bullets.

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said about 3,000 customers had power restored by midnight Wednesday. Service was returned to the remaining customers by 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Moreno said lines came down in the Humboldt Road area, and near Forest Ranch, about 3,100 feet south of Santos Ranch Road.

The outage affected a large area from Notre Dame Boulevard in Chico to parts of Forest Ranch, and included neighborhoods in California Park and Canyon Oaks.

Moreno said it is illegal and dangerous to shoot at power lines and equipment.

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