SoCal Edison Can Continue Removing Power Poles in Thomas Fire Burn Area of Montecito, Judge Rules

Southern California Edison’s removal of power poles and repair work in an area near the start of the Thomas fire will be allowed to continue, a Santa Barbara County judge ruled Tuesday.

Fire burns near power lines at the Thomas Fire, Dec. 16, 2017, in Montecito. (Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Fire burns near power lines at the Thomas Fire, Dec. 16, 2017, in Montecito. (Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Tossing out the bulk of a temporary restraining order request filed on behalf of homeowners affected by the blaze and subsequent mudslide in Montecito, Judge Thomas Anderle ruled that the utility’s argument that it is properly preserving the equipment it has removed so far was persuasive.

“Southern California Edison is pleased that the court has now twice recognized that SCE is taking appropriate measures to preserve the materials that were removed from the site in order to restore service to the area. We have taken steps to preserve equipment in case it is later needed for inspection,” the company said in a statement.

More than $1.8 billion in insurance claims have been filed as a result of the Thomas fire. The blaze, which grew to become the largest on state record, burned more than 280,000 acres, killed two people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.