UPDATE: Rye Fire blamed for outage affecting more than 8,800

Fast-moving brush fire at Rye Canyon Loop on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

If any of the more than 8,800 people who lost power for an hour Thursday morning wants someone to blame, they can blame the Rye Fire for the inconvenience.

At 10:41 a.m. Thursday, at least 8,847 customers of Southern California Edison in the Santa Clarita Valley lost electricity.

“Workers, manually, had to isolate the poles damaged in the Rye Fire,” Edison spokeswoman Susan Cox told The Signal.

“In order to do that, they had to take the energy out of the lines,” she said, referring to work efforts deliberately shutting off the power.

Power was restored to almost all of the affected people at 11:40 a.m., Cox said.

The Rye Fire broke out about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday when power lines on Rye Canyon Loop were comprised by with what some officials have described as a piece of wood the size of an oar.

Workers dispatched to restore electrical power to more than 5,000 Valencia residents Thursday morning were sent to a location near the site of Tuesday’s Rye Fire command center.  As it turned out, more than 3,800 other customers were also without power.

Southern California Edison initially reported two power outages – one affecting 2472 Edison customers, the other affecting 2597 customers.

Edison work crews, joined by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, descended the intersection of Newhall Ranch Road and Copper Hill Drive.

On Tuesday, as the Rye Fire gained momentum burning brush near the Pitchess Detention Center, first responders including fire and police officials set up a command center near Copper Hill and Newhall Ranch, in the parking lot of Walmart.

Valencia High School and Rio Norte Junior High School were two of the places that suddenly lost power at 10:41 a.m. Thursday.

“Both schools will remain open and instruction will continue. We are in communication with Edison and will contact parents via email if the situation changes,” the William S. Hart Union High School district wrote on its Twitter.

Traffic lights went out of service at a couple of intersections including the one at McBean Parkway an Decoro Drive.

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