Dangerous Fire Conditions Forecast for Holidays
As the holidays fast approach, dangerously strong winds over extremely dry areas with an elevated risk for wildfires are forecast for early this Wednesday through Thursday afternoon, prompting elevated fire warnings.
Southern California Edison has activated its emergency management teams as several parts of its service area will be impacted by these dangerous winds and dry conditions.
December has been one of the driest months this year and there has been little to no rain for the past several months. With each day that passes, the already dry trees and shrubs are getting drier, weakening the health of the vegetation which could result in them falling onto electrical equipment. This results in an elevated risk for dangerous wildfires which may prompt SCE’s call for some Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
“We understand the toll a power outage can take on our customers, especially during this pandemic when people are working from home and caring for family, some at the same time. These PSPS events are even more challenging for many during the holidays, especially for those who have experienced repeated outages,” said Kevin Payne, president and CEO of SCE. “We are responsible for providing power safely to our communities and work hard to minimize the impacts of PSPS.”
This week, some customers in several counties — including Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura — have received notices about possible PSPS events. As the weather changes, these customer counts will also be updated.
SCE compartmentalizes the local grid into sections to minimize the number of customers impacted by a shutoff on a particular circuit. When power is shut off due to PSPS, crews patrol the impacted areas to ensure debris and vegetation have not blown into equipment. Once it is safe to do so, power will be restored.
PSPS is part of SCE’s wildfire mitigation efforts that include the installation of hundreds of weather stations and wildfire cameras, predictive technologies, enhanced overhead inspections and insulated power lines.
Customers can be notified of a PSPS event by email, phone or text alert. They can sign up for potential PSPS alerts at sce.com/psps or by calling 800-655-4555. Customers may report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911. For information on outages, customers can check sce.com/outages or visit twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.
Power Outage Safety Tips
- If you see a downed power line, do not touch it or anything in contact with it. Call 911 immediately.
- Power outages in the area may impact traffic signals, so motorists should use extreme caution and treat all intersections as four-way stops.
- Remember to check emergency supplies to be sure you have a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and fresh batteries.
- Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards in your home or business.
- If you are in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews. Please consult the manufacturer’s manual for operating the generator.