SCE Crews Granted Access to Some Areas Damaged by Blue Cut Fire

To prepare for restoration efforts, materials such as poles and transformers are being set up in staging areas.

UPDATED: Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m.

As the Blue Cut Fire continues to burn in San Bernardino County near the Cajon Pass, Southern California Edison crews have been granted access to some areas to begin damage assessments and to start making repairs on its electric distribution system.

In preparation for the restoration efforts, SCE is currently staging additional personnel and materials in the impacted areas. Two primary locations are expected to be up and running by Friday.

There are more than 300 damaged poles, with that number expected to increase, and a number of key transmission lines, subtransmission lines, substations and distribution circuits remain threatened by the fire. 

Currently, there are 683 customers without power in the areas of Hesperia, Lytle Creek, Oak Hills, Phelan, Rancho Cucamonga, Pinon Hills, Victorville and a number of communities in unincorporated San Bernardino County.

Blue Cut Fire, Aug. 18

Blue Cut Fire, Aug. 18

Aug. 17, Blue Cut Fire

Aug. 17, Blue Cut Fire
Videos Credit: Troy Whitman

“An estimated restoration time for impacted customers is not available at this time, but in many areas, they should be prepared to be without service for several days,” said Randall Daffern, SCE incident commander.

The Blue Cut Fire started Tuesday and has so far burned 31,689 acres. The fire is still at 4 percent containment. 

Power Outage and Wildfire Safety Tips

  • If possible, stay away from areas severely impacted by the fire damage.
  • If you see downed power lines, please call 911 and report it to the police and fire departments immediately. Never touch or try to move a downed power line.
  • Check on the safety of family members and neighbors, especially those dependent on power for medical equipment.
  • Do not rely on candles for lighting during a power outage because they pose a fire hazard; please use flashlights.
  • Do not cook indoors with charcoal or other fossil fuels not meant for indoor use. They could create deadly fumes if used indoors.
  • If you are without electrical service in your home or business, leave a light switch in the “on” position to serve as a signal that electrical service has been restored in your area.
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronic equipment.
  • If you are using a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using heavy-duty extension cords. Do not connect generators directly to household circuits. Doing so creates “backfeed,” which is extremely dangerous and could be fatal to repair crews.