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SCE Monitoring Whittier Fire Near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County

If the fire impacts transmission lines, customers in the Santa Barbara area could lose power.

UPDATED, July 12 at 9 a.m.

Southern California Edison is closely monitoring the Whittier Fire burning near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County. The fire appears to be burning away from SCE towers and facilities. If the fire does impact transmission lines, customers in the Santa Barbara area could lose power.

SCE has a contingency plan to restore customers, but some customers may experience extended outages. Currently, the fire has burned 11,920 acres and containment is at 48 percent.

SCE has crews in the area and has developed a robust contingency plan to address any potential loss of the transmission lines and will work to reduce the disruption to customers should the fire impact the utility's facilities in the region.

Crews will assess damage to the transmission system and start making safe and expedited repairs, if needed. SCE is working closely with emergency operations organizations in the Santa Barbara area.

At 6:39 p.m. Sunday, 10,000 customers were impacted by a power outage in the Santa Barbara area. Power was restored to all customers by 7:08 p.m. This was not fire-related. SCE is working to determine the cause.

SCE’s No. 1 priority is the safety of its customers and employees. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind should you experience an outage:

  • If you come across any downed wires, stay away and call 911.
  • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they’re fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage. Do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using heavy-duty extension cords. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
  • When power is out, traffic signals may be out so approach those intersections as four-way stops.