Southern California may face a new round of electricity blackouts in the coming days to avoid a possible wildfire, the state’s primary electricity company said last night.
More than 162,000 customers in six counties, namely Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and Kern counties in Southern California, are under the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) consideration, according to Southern California Edison.
“We will proactively turn off power in high fire risk areas to reduce the threat of wildfires. Turning off our customers’ power is not something we take lightly, but PSPS events are one of the ways we can better ensure the safety of the public, our customers, and our employees,” the company said on its official website.
The National Weather Service Los Angeles warned Tuesday there were dangerous fire weather conditions for the region from Thursday to Friday as moderate-strong Santa Ana winds combine with hot temperatures, low humidity and very dry fuels, noting the potential for rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior if ignition occurs.
Tens of thousands of residents living in multiple Southern California counties suffered a power outage earlier this month as heavy Santa Ana winds hit parts of the region.
Power lines are to blame for igniting several massive wildfires in recent years in California.
Southern California Edison has been facing scrutiny since the Los Angeles Fire Department announced that the Saddleridge Fire, which charred 8,799 acres (3,561 hectares) of land and forced the evacuation of thousands, is believed to have started on Oct. 10, below a Southern California Edison transmission line amid high winds, reported a local news outlet, KTLA 5 TV Channel.