Power was cut to 50,000 when the Southern California fire burned

More than 50,000 Edison customers in Southern California were without electricity Thursday morning amid a dangerous Santa Ana wind that had already caused at least two fires in the region.

The utility company initiated the public safety power outage Wednesday late seven across counties late to prevent his electrical system from becoming a source of ignition, said Ron Gales, a spokesman for Edison.

The shutdown includes 24,000 customers in Riverside County, 9,900 in Los Angeles County and 6,000 in Ventura County.

Nearly 250,000 additional customers in eight counties are also being considered for downtime, Gales said.

“I can’t stress enough that the power outage is only a last resort,” Gales said. “We only turn off the circuit when we have no choice. … Let’s look at wind speed, relative humidity, and plenty of fuel and dried brushes. “

Calling it a “particularly dangerous situation,” the National Meteorological Service issued a red flag warning of critical fire conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties by 6 p.m. Friday.

In the counties of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino, the red flag warning will remain in effect until 10pm on Saturday.

The weather service said parts of Southern California, including the Santa Clarita and San Bernardino Valleys and the Los Angeles, Ventura and Riverside County Mountains, could see winds of up to 70 miles per hour on Thursday.

THE gusts 85 mph recorded on Wednesday night in the San Gabriel Mountains near Sylmar.

The wind will meet extreme drought, said Mark Moede, a meteorologist at the San Diego National Meteorological Service. Humidity in the region will drop to 4%, further exacerbating fire concerns.

“She’s very, very out there,” Moede said. “We’re looking at single-digit humidity, and I’m sure everyone will feel it with their skin or sinuses.”

Low humidity contributes to dried vegetation, which can cause a fire that, coupled with strong winds, can cause disaster. A windswept wildfire erupted Wednesday night in San Diego, quickly burning through 25 acres and destroying at least one home.

Another flame-triggered flame, called the Bond Fire, caught fire Wednesday night in Orange County and quickly spread in the Silverado Canyon area. By Thursday morning, the fire had erupted over 4,000 acres, causing a mandatory evacuation.

Gales said the SCE is working to reduce the length and number of power outages in the region, including the unbundling of parts of utility circuits to minimize the number of customers affected.

“It’s hard for customers, especially during COVID-19, to turn off the power,” he said. “We’ll do our best before deciding on a power outage.”

But those hoping for relief – due to both preventive power outages and dangerous fires – will probably have to wait a little longer.

“It’s sunny and dry all day next Wednesday, with no chance of rain,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist at Oxnard’s National Meteorological Service.

“Longer-term forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center indicate continued drought until about mid-December,” Sweet added. “At this point, we don’t really see reliable – or hopeful – rain signals.