SCE Warns High Winds Could Lead to Thousands of Power Shutoffs

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Southern California Edison is considering cutting power to thousands of customers Thursday over concerns that high winds could cause a wildfire.

Forecasters are calling for an extended period of moderate to strong northerly winds beginning Thursday and continuing into early next week.

Peak wind gusts will reach between 40 and 60 mph in some areas, the National Weather Service stated. The strongest winds will likely be recorded over the Santa Barbara South Coast, Santa Ynez Range and the I-5 Corridor.

The strong winds and lower humidity levels -- expected to arrive Friday -- can bring critical fire conditions.

In response to the elevated fire risk, SCE is considering safety power outages for about 33,000 customers in the following areas:

Los Angeles County (2,885 customers)

  • Unincorporated areas including Acton, Gorman, Mt Baldy, San Antonio Heights, and Antelope Valley

Riverside County (2,719 customers)

  • Unincorporated areas including North Palm Springs, Cabazon, Mons, Banning Pass, Owl, portions of Desert Hills Outlet Mall, Whitewater Bonnie Bell

San Bernardino County (5,363 customers)

  • Big Bear
  • Hesperia
  • Upland
  • Unincorporated areas including North Palm Springs, Ferrara, Doble, Upper Holcomb Valley, Lucerne Valley, Cedar Pines Park, Valley of Enchantment, Crestline and Valley View Park

Santa Barbara County (6,702 customers)

  • Santa Barbara**
  • Unincorporated areas including Gaviota, Concepcion, Santa Barbara County. El Capitan Park, Mission Canyon, Montecito and Starwood

Mono County (13,275 customers)

  • Mammoth Lakes and Mono
  • Unincorporated areas including Old Mammoth Lakes Basin, Mammoth Lakes - Old Mammoth, Mammoth Lakes – (Core**, North**, Slopes, Trails), Bridgeport, Fales Hot Spring, Sonora Junction, June Lake Village and Loop, Crestview, Bridgeport Valley to Twin lakes, Mammoth Lakes Basin-Falls Creek Tract, Lee Vining, Lee Vining Canyon, Paradise, a portion of Swall Meadows, North Conway, Willow Springs, Bridgeport Feeder, Whitmore Hot Springs, Airport, McGee Creek, Dunderberg Mill, and Mono Lake

Kern County (1,621 customers)

  • Unincorporated areas including Camp Owens, Kernville, Lake Isabella, Wofford Heights, Cameron Canyon, Midwind Sub, near Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd, Antelope Valley, Weldon, Onyx, Canebrake, Bobfish and Rosamond

Inyo County (719 customers)

  • Unincorporated areas including the community of Aspendell and near Bishop including the community of Round Valley

A public safety power shutoff was already in place Thursday morning for about 100 customers in the Old Mammoth Lakes Basin area of Mono County, according to SCE's website.

Customers in outage areas were warned to be prepared for the possibility of extended periods without power.

The safety outages are a response to devastating wildfires in recent years across the state.

Some of those fires are being blamed on overloaded power grids.

One week ago, the Saddleridge Fire erupted in the San Fernando Valley.

The blaze consumed more than 8,000 acres and destroyed more than a dozen homes.

It was 52% contained as of Wednesday night.

An investigation is ongoing to determine if power lines were responsible for starting the wildfire.

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