Power shutoff considerations continue for SCV areas, state positions strike teams amid Red Flag conditions

Crews work at a Southern California Edison facility in Valencia as the company implements a public safety power shut-off (PSPS) in an effort to mitigate fire risks during dry, windy weather in Santa Clarita on Monday. Bobby Block/The Signal
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With a multiday Red Flag warning issued throughout Southern California, multiple parts of the Santa Clarita Valley remained under consideration for power shutoffs Wednesday. 

Southern California Edison warned public safety power shutoffs could take place Wednesday and that monitoring would continue through Friday afternoon to more than 269,000 customers across the region, including portions of SCV communities with ZIP codes 91350, 91351, 91387, 91390 and 93510. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 40 customers in L.A. County and 2,212 in Riverside County were reported without power, according to the utility’s online PSPS map

“SoCal Edison doesn’t shut off power based on weather forecasts but only on weather conditions in specific areas,” said utility spokesman Paul Griffo, adding that with patrols in the affected areas, the utility is working to limit the number of affected customers. 

The power shutoffs are used to reduce the risk of potential wildfires caused by electrical lines sparking during strong wind weather conditions as alerted by the National Weather Service for the Los Angeles and Ventura counties. 

“Monitoring conditions is one of the ways we can predict wildfire risk in real-time,” said Griffo. “We have 851 weather stations installed by the end of the day thoroughly covering high fire risk areas and they’re used to determine where and when we need to put these (areas) under consideration.” 

The Red Flag warning runs through Saturday evening due to low humidity and strong Santa Ana winds with gusts up to 70 mph. The strongest are expected Thursday morning, according to the Weather Service. 

Due to these conditions, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced Wednesday it had prepositioned firefighting resources and personnel in four Southern California counties, including in L.A. The county was issued a water tender and dispatcher, as well as a state strike team, which includes five fire engines with 15 firefighters and a team leader. 

“The public is urged to remain aware of their surrounding conditions and to avoid outdoor activities that can cause a spark near dry vegetation, such as yard work, target shooting, or campfires, and follow local fire restrictions,” CalOES said in a Wednesday news release. “The public is also reminded to have an emergency plan in place, emergency preparedness kits at home and vehicles full of fuel.”

For status on a SoCal Edison outage, sign up to receive alerts via sce.com/wildfire/psps-alerts, or call 1-800-655-4555‫.

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