A spokeswoman for Southern California Edison says the utility had turned off power hours before a fire sparked in Southern California that now threatens more than 15,000 structures in suburban developments north of Los Angeles.
Spokeswoman Susan Cox says Friday the utility “de-energized the power” in the Santa Clarita community of Canyon Country at about 8:50 a.m. Thursday.
Authorities say the fire erupted around 1:45 p.m. Thursday. Six homes are confirmed destroyed but that figure is expected to rise. The cause is under investigation.
The blaze has scorched nearly 7 square miles (17 square kilometers) and is only 5% contained as 50,000 people were forced to evacuate.
Cox did not have information about the number of customers affected.
The preemptive power cuts are part of an effort to reduce the threat of wildfires igniting during critical fire weather.