- Thousands of people in Southern California were without power on Thanksgiving for the second year running as the region’s largest utility cut-off service
- As of Friday night, a few thousand were still without service in the area.
- Southern California’s Edison International shuts down electricity to 63,835 homes on Thanksgiving
- Companies were shutting down power to avoid sparks from live wires and possible wildfires due to gusts of wind in the area.
- An 18-acre fire broke out in the San Diego area on Thursday
A wind event in Southern California that caused gusts of up to 89 miles per hour put more than 17 million people under wildfire warnings this Thanksgiving holiday.
It comes as thousands of people in Southern California went without power on Thanksgiving for a second year as the region’s largest utility cut off service amid the risk of wildfires due to strong winds.
As of Friday night, a few thousand were still without service in the area.
Edison International of Southern California halted power service to 63,835 homes and businesses in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
Shutoff began at approximately 10:36 a.m. Thursday local time, thank you.
Edison is turning off power to avoid sparks and potential wildfires from live wires as wind gusts in the area.
The utilities suggested that as many as 200,000 accounts could lose service between the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
At one place in Los Angeles County, gusts of 89 mph were reported early Thursday. However, no wildfires were reported on Thursday, despite 18 acres of fire in the San Diego-area.
The winds died down on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, but widespread gusts between 35 and 60 mph were possible with gusts of up to 75 mph.
A wind event in Southern California that caused gusts of 89 mph this holiday weekend put more than 17 million people under wildfire warnings.
An 18-acre forest fire broke out near San Diego on Thursday morning
Dry conditions and high winds prompted the Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for several Southern California counties by 6 p.m. local time on Friday. Red flags indicate dangerous weather conditions where wildfires can and do spread unexpectedly. The fire department brings in additional staff while the alert is underway.
The weather service said at least 17 million people live where the red flag warning went into effect Friday.
Southern California Edison spokeswoman Gabriella Ornelas said, ‘These are very strong winds.
Winds can blow debris into power lines and spark, which is why public safety power shutoffs were implemented.
Better weather was predicted for the weekend.
“There will be gusts of wind every morning on Saturday and Sunday, but nothing close to advisory level,” the weather service said.
Wildfires triggered by live power lines, such as this photo from 2019, are due for shutdown
Edison crew (pictured in stock image) must check power lines after winds before power is restored
Voluntarily shutting down power lines before strong winds have become somewhat of a new normal in the area, as a series of deadly wildfires were triggered by their devices.
On Thanksgiving last year, more than 20,000 homes and businesses had their electricity cut for the holiday, only made worse by the fact that some had to take shelter because of the pandemic.
A Red Flag Alert, the highest possible warning, was posted to warn people in an area of strong, dry winds from Santa Barbara to the US/Mexico border by Friday.
This came after a fire broke out in an 18-acre brush near San Diego early Thursday. No one got injured.
The United States Storm Prediction Center claimed these are fire weather conditions.
San Diego Gas and Electric has had to shut down power for thousands of customers
Kevin McGowan, chief of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management
Kevin McGowan, chief of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, advised residents to stay informed and be prepared to evacuate, especially if they live in valley, mountain or foothill communities.
Once utilities can survey power lines for wind damage, service will be restored in both the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
More than 8,000 fires have burned over 3.1 million acres of California state and federal land in 2021 alone.
According to the state forestry department, three people died in the fire and three others were killed.
Fire officials said the problem is only getting worse as human-caused climate change has caused megasuits along the West Coast state for more than 20 years.