LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Strong Santa Ana winds could force Southern California Edison to shut off power to thousands of customers on Thanksgiving.
The National Weather Service reports that winds of up to 60 miles per hour are possible Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and across the Inland Empire.
The conditions will create an increased risk for wildfires and could down trees and power lines, the NWS reports. A red flag warning will be in effect from 2 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday for much of the Southland.
In response, SCE reports that it could be forced to implement precautionary public safety shutoffs to 88,072 customers, similar to shutoffs SCE did about a month ago.
That includes more than 39,100 customers in San Bernardino County, over 21,000 in L.A. County and about 14,500 in Ventura County.
Some of the cities which could be effected include Santa Clarita, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Sylmar, San Fernando, Azusa, Rancho Cucamonga and Banning.
The shutoffs could occur sometime between 3 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday depending on the region. To see if your address is in the shutoff area, click here.
The Angeles National Forest is moving in additional firefighting resources because of the wildfire threat.
Not something #SoCal is necessarily thankful for this holiday, but #SantaAnaWinds are kicking up. This is right outside Santa Clarita city hall. Strong winds & low humidity means high fire danger for much of the Southland today and tomorrow #CBSLA #KCAL9 pic.twitter.com/MtxgjtRzP2
— Alex Biston (@AlexBistonTV) November 26, 2020
Beginning in August and lasting through October, there were several heat waves in California which sparked rolling blackouts for the first time since 2001, and helped contribute to the spread of a historic number of wildfires up and down the state which destroyed thousands of homes and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.
SCE notified California state regulators that its equipment may have been to blame for sparking the Silverado Fire, which broke out east of Irvine late last month, burning 13,400 acres and forcing more than 90,000 to evacuate their homes.
Also last month, Ventura County fire investigators reported that the Easy and Maria fires, which broke out in October of 2019, were both caused by electrical equipment failures. In the Easy Fire, SCE equipment was to blame, officials said.
In November of 2019, while the Easy and Maria fires were still burning, SCE reached a $360 million settlement admitting that its equipment was also responsible for starting the 2017 Thomas Fire and the 2018 Woolsey Fire.