Thousands of Southern California Edison customers remained without power Friday morning as ongoing gusty winds and red flag warnings have officials concerned about an increased risk of sparking wildfires.
More than 950 customers in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura counties were experiencing outages as of 10 p.m., according to the utility’s website.
SCE outage breakdown:
- Los Angeles County – 856 customers
- San Bernardino County – 5 customers
- Ventura County – 92 customers
Around noon, more than 16,000 customers were without power in L.A., Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura and Kern counties. But service was restored throughout the evening as winds diminished.
The company is no longer considering expanding the shutoffs the more customers.
The outages began Thursday and are part of the utility’s Public Safety Power Shutoff program, designed to reduce the risk that electrical systems become a point of ignition for a wildfire.
Fire danger remains elevated Friday due to dry conditions and gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service.
A red flag warning is in place until 6 p.m. Saturday for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Red flag warnings in Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties expire at 6 p.m. Friday.
Some of the strongest winds are expected Friday morning, according to the Weather Service. Wind gusts up to 50 to 65 mph are forecast in the mountain regions and 40 to 50 mph in the valley areas.
Edison has stated that contact between tree branches and utility equipment near Cogswell Dam may have sparked the Bobcat Fire in September. That fire scorched about 115,00 acres and destroyed dozens of homes.
The company hopes that shutting off power in select areas on windy days will prevent future fires from starting under similar conditions.