SCE Crews Continue to Make Repairs as Thomas Fire Still Burns

Crews are working with first responders to repair damaged equipment, but some areas of the fire remain inaccessible.

UPDATED Dec. 21, noon

The historic Thomas Fire near Santa Paula, now the second largest fire in California history at more than 270,000 acres, began on Dec. 4. Since then, Southern California Edison crews have worked closely with first responders to access areas deemed safe to enter to begin repairing damaged equipment and infrastructure. Some areas are still inaccessible due to the active fire.

SCE crews continue to work around the clock and as of noon on Dec. 21, there are approximately 980 customers system-wide without power which includes those impacted by the fire. Due to the progress made in restoring service, customers can check the Outage Center for estimated restoration times.

As of noon on Dec. 21, 84 customers remain without power due to the Thomas fire. Most of the 84 customers without power will have service restored this week and all customers should have service restored by the first week in January.  All customers impacted by the Creek, Rye and Liberty fires have power restored.

Thomas Fire - Dec 14
SCE CEO Kevin Payne (in yellow safety vest) visits crews at the Thomas Fire.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to restore service under difficult and volatile conditions,” said Matt Deatherage, SCE incident commander. “Due to the fires, the system could face additional strain and customers are being asked to conserve energy.”

There is minimal threat to the transmission lines serving Santa Barbara, however, SCE is requesting residential and commercial customers in the Santa Barbara area continue to reduce power consumption to ease potential strain on the local system.

Crews have so far replaced 746 poles damaged in the Thomas Fire and all of the poles damaged in the Creek, Rye and Liberty Fires have been replaced.

Customers may report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the SCE outages app at Customers can also get the latest information by visiting or at and Customers impacted by the fire can visit SCE’s Wildfire Support and Information page

Thomas Fire - Dec 14
A sign shows appreciation for SCE crews restoring power at the Thomas Fire.

SCE Safety Tips in Fire Area & High-Wind Conditions:

  • If you’re 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.
  • Power outages in the area may impact traffic signals, and vehicles should treat all intersections as four-way-stops. Use extreme caution.
  • Water and electricity don’t mix. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Do not step in or enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.
  • 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.

Energy Conservation Tips:

  • Set thermostats to no higher than 68 degrees.
  • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Turn off holiday lights and decorations.
  • Postpone using major appliances like dishwashers and washer/dryers.
  • Minimize how often you open your refrigerator or freezer.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights.

SCE has launched a new webpage, SCEResponds, which details the company’s efforts to restore service, support our customers, and help rebuild the community in response to the recent wild fire and wind storm conditions.