SCE Crews Begin Restoration Efforts Following Blue Cut Fire Devastation

First responders have allowed crews ground access to areas deemed safe.

UPDATED: Aug. 21, 6 p.m.

As the Blue Cut Fire continues to burn, first responders have allowed Southern California Edison crews ground access to areas that have been deemed safe to begin restoration efforts.

A staging area has been set up near the fire in San Bernardino County for extra personnel and the vast amount of equipment that will be needed to be replaced or repaired, including poles, wires and transformers. More than 300 SCE personnel are now working on restoration efforts.

B-roll Credit: Ernesto Sanchez

Video Credit: Troy Whitman

Damage assessment teams have identified 384 poles that have been destroyed or damaged. Currently, there are 140 customers without power in the cities of Hesperia, Oak Hills, Pinon Hills, Phelan,, Victorville and a number of communities in unincorporated San Bernardino County. Crews are working to install portable generation in some locations, where possible, to restore service to customers.

“Due to the continuing fires in San Bernardino County and the difficulty in accessing the impacted areas, customers should be prepared to be without service for several more days,” said Jeff Billingsley, SCE incident commander. “We know this is an inconvenience and we appreciate their patience.”

In addition, customers who are allowed to return to their homes and businesses may not have electric service and should be prepared to be without service for an extended period of time.

SCE personnel will also be staffing the Local Assistance Center at the San Bernardino fairgrounds in Victorville. Locals affected by the fire can get updated outage information and other customer support services, including help with turnoffs and temporary address changes.

Blue Cut Fire - restoration effortsSCE employees at the Local Assistance Center.

The Blue Cut Fire started on Monday and has burned 37,020 acres. The fire is now 83 percent contained.

Power Outage and Wildfire Safety Tips

  • If possible, stay away from areas severely impacted by the fire damage.
  • If you see downed 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 could 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.