LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With the heat wave expected to put a strain on the state’s power grid, Californians are being asked to voluntarily conserve energy Thursday afternoon and evening.
The California Independent System Operator has issued a Flex Alert from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday.
The Flex Alert comes amid a heat advisory which is in effect for most of Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties through Friday evening. The San Fernando Valley could see a high of 101 degrees Thursday.
Furthermore, a fire weather watch is also in place for the Inland Empire, the Santa Clarita Valley and the mountains in L.A. and Ventura counties from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. The high temperatures, low humidity and Santa Ana wind gusts of 35 to 45 miles per hour will make for critical fire weather conditions.
“We’re tracking a modern Santa Ana wind event,” CBS2 Meteorologist Danielle Gersh said. “Because of that, they decided to issue a fire weather watch. We’re gonna be dealing with some breezy conditions, very low relative humidity of course too, a warm weather and these tempratures climbing well above average.”
During the Flex Alert, people are asked to conserve energy as much as possible by keeping their air conditioning thermostats no lower than 78 degrees and limiting the use of major appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers. They should also turn off lights and unplug cell phone chargers when not in use.
Flex Alerts are issued when temperatures are expected to be so high that they prompt a subsequent increase in energy use that could potentially stress the power grid, causing outages or forcing rolling blackouts. Flex Alerts are designed to prevent that stress by asking residents to voluntarily conserve energy during the hottest and highest usage periods of the day.
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On Wednesday evening, a fast-spreading blaze broke out in Redlands, threatening about 50 homes. The 125-acre Bruder Fire was 30% contained as of Thursday morning.
This marks the fourth heat wave to hit Southern California since mid-August, sparking rolling blackouts for the first time since 2001, and helping contribute to the spread of a historic number of wildfires up and down the state of California which have destroyed thousands of homes and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.