SoCal Edison Cuts Power to Thousands of Homes on Thanksgiving Amid Wildfire Concerns

A Southern California Edison lineman grounds a power line in La Habra.(Los Angeles Times)

More than 5,000 Southern California Edison customers in Ventura and Los Angeles counties were without power on Thanksgiving evening, with 100,000 more at risk of having the lights turned out as high winds led to elevated wildfire risk, officials said.

Homes in areas including Simi Valley, Moorpark and Santa Clarita were affected by outages as part of the utility company’s public safety power shutoff program, which is intended to reduce the risk that electrical systems become an ignition point for wildfires.

As of 5 p.m., 3,015 customers were without power in Ventura County and 2,127 in L.A. County, according to an outage map managed by the utility company. An additional 106,461 customers could see their power shut off in Ventura, L.A., Kern, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, depending on weather conditions, according to the company.

The shutoffs were being enacted as meteorologists warned of potential Santa Ana wind gusts of up to 65 mph across parts of the San Fernando Valley and the Santa Monica Mountains. Ventura and Los Angeles counties are both under red flag warnings this weekend, meaning conditions are ideal for wildfires to ignite.

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SOURCE: LA Times, James Queally