SCE warns of potential power shutoff 

A high-wind advisory combined with higher temperatures in the forecast have officials asking residents to prepare for the worst, as the Santa Clarita Valley awaits an “official” declaration to the start of fire season.

High winds, heat could create problems for areas with dry brush, officials say  

By Perry Smith and Habeba Mostafa    

A high-wind advisory combined with higher temperatures in the forecast have officials asking residents to prepare for the worst, as the Santa Clarita Valley awaits an “official” declaration to the start of fire season. 

“The winds combined with locally dry vegetation increase the risk of wildfire — meaning that Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) may be needed to protect communities,” according to Reggie Kumar, spokesman for Southern California Edison. 

As of Thursday afternoon, if a PSPS were to occur, the most likely time was expected to be between 6 p.m. Friday until Saturday morning around 6 a.m., based on the information posted online. 

An outage map online indicates the customer areas affected, Kumar said. The map indicates an area from a little south of The Old Road and Parker Road all the way north to just shy of Gorman near the Kern County line, largely along Interstate 5.  

In a phone interview Thursday, Kumar identified a corridor surrounding Interstate 5, including the Castaic area, where people might be impacted, if the weather conditions reach the level of concern that’s in the forecast. 

“It looks like we are forecasting some decent winds starting Friday night into Saturday,” said Bryan Lewis, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, confirming an advisory had been issued. 

“We currently do not have an advisory for Santa Clarita itself, but we do right along the I-5 corridor,” he said. “So we’re expecting winds gusting up to about 55 mph.” 

Unfortunately, the advice from SCE and weather officials is a bit of wait-and-see situation, because there’s also a “high-wind watch” for Saturday night, with winds gusting up to 65 mph, he said, with more persistent winds expected around 25 to 35 mph. 

Part of the concern from the utility in particular is that there are also higher temperatures in the SCV forecast. 

Summer is making an early appearance in Santa Clarita this weekend with an expected high of 94 degrees on Friday, 96 on Saturday, and with cooler temperatures at 88 on Sunday, according to Lisa Phillips, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.  

“Make sure to bring plenty of water. It’s not the day to decide on a really long hike; it’s not going to feel great, so stay in the shade,” Phillips said. “If you can, try to limit your time out in the heat and maybe go somewhere cooler. Or plan more indoor activities.”  

Lows for the weekend are expected to be 61 degrees Friday and Saturday, and 57 degrees Sunday.  

Part of the forecast challenge facing SCE in letting customers know the exact shutoff time is that the warnings and subsequent shutoffs are based on these weather predictions that could vary significantly from the actual impact.  

The duration of the events would have a direct impact on any potential shutoff.   

“No customers are without power at this time, and we know that PSPS significantly affects our customers’ daily lives and creates hardships for our customers and communities,” Kumar said, adding that keeping the community safe is the highest priority. 

Kumar said officials are particularly concerned about the areas in the corridor that might not have received as much of the historic rain over the past two winters, because the potential fuel in those areas would be particularly dry. 

Fire chiefs from throughout Region 1 — an area including L.A., Orange and Ventura counties — as well as other local, state and federal agencies are meeting at 11 a.m. Friday to discuss the official start of the fire season in Southern California, according to Kaitlyn Aldana of the L.A. County Fire Department media information office.  

An announcement on the season should come from the meeting, she added. 

“Should a shutoff be necessary,” Kumar said, “we will attempt to restore power to customers as soon as it’s safe to do so, and after the weather event ends, and after our crews inspect the lines and determine that it’s safe to re-energize the area.” 

The outage map is located at

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