76,000 could lose power during Thanksgiving due to the risk of wildfire

Thanks to the increased wildfire, 76,000 Edison customers in Southern California could be charged without electricity on Thanksgiving Day, the utility said on Wednesday.

Communities from Hemet to Ventura could lose power as part of a “public safety power outage” aimed at preventing electrical systems from becoming sources of ignition as wind-blowing Santa Ana winds and dry conditions are projected to be needed throughout Southland.

According to the National Meteorological Service, the strong wind is expected to start on Thursday and last until Friday evening.

Wind gusts of up to 65 km / h could throw up parts of the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Clarita Valley, San Gabriel Mountains and Malibu, said meteorologist Ryan Kittell of the National Meteorological Service in Oxnard.

“We expect the peak to be Thursday through Friday,” Kittell said, “but Thursday afternoon will also be pretty windy. This will not be the greatest time for anyone planning portable shelters or eating outdoors. “

It will be a colder-than-usual Santa Ana event, Kittell said, with temperatures hovering in the upper 60s until the mid-70s, but no less dangerous. The weather service will fire the weather clock at red flag warning In much of Los Angeles and Ventura County.

Red flag warnings are ideal conditions for fires to ignite.

Edgie Kumar, a spokesman for Edison, said the decision to shut down the power – especially on one of the most anticipated holidays of the year – would not be taken lightly, but added that public safety should be a priority.

“We know that public safety power outages are confusing our customers and our community, especially during Thanksgiving,” he said. “We will do everything we can to keep the electricity flowing and reduce the number and length of any outages we may have tomorrow or Friday.”

The company has already notified customers who may be affected by the shutdown, Kumar said, which includes more than 15,000 customers in Los Angeles County, 42,000 in San Bernardino County and 12,000 in Ventura County, among others.

According to Kumar, Edison is able to “isolate his circuits,” meaning that any shutdowns will be as narrow and specific as possible to limit powerless circuits. Residents can enter their address here to see if they can be affected.

Edison has already been investigated for the possible role of the September Bobcat fire, which could have ignited after tree branches hit one of the utility’s electrical wires. According to the U.S. Forest Service, this fire burned more than 115,000 acres and destroyed at least 80 houses.

But it’s not just the wind that poses a threat: Low humidity and lack of rainfall can dry out vegetation and create plenty of fuel for the flames. According to Kittel, those hoping for a wet easing of the state’s worst running fire will have to wait a little longer.

“The chance of rain in at least the first week of December seems quite minimal or non-existent,” he said. “In fact, there could even be another Santa Ana event sometime in the middle of next week.”