The largest company in Southern California cut off power for more customers in the mountains near Los Angeles as strong winds increased the risk of forest fires, marking the second year in a row that parts of the region will spend Thanksgiving in the dark.
Edison International’s companies in Southern California stopped electricity to 63,835 homes and businesses in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura at. 10:36 local time to prevent live wires from sparks when a gust of wind pulls down on the drought. affected area. More than 200,000 customer accounts could lose service in the Los Angeles and San Diego regions, according to local tools.
California power companies have begun shutting down power lines before strong winds after a series of deadly forest fires were triggered by their equipment. This is just one of the ways in which years of drought are transforming life in Golden State, home to about 40 million people. Last year, Edison in Southern California cut off electricity to more than 20,600 homes and businesses on Thanksgiving Day, when many people had protection at home due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
Strong, dry winds over southern California are expected to subside until Thanksgiving night, although an increased risk of dangerous fire conditions will persist through Friday, the National Weather Service said. A red flag alert – the highest alert – has been posted from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border through Friday. The US Storm Prediction Center said critical fire conditions in parts of Southern California will continue Thursday morning and are expected to continue throughout the day, with strong winds in the afternoon.
“You can do your part by staying informed and ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, especially if you live in canyon, mountain or outcrop communities,” said Kevin McGowan, director of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management, in a Wednesday press release.
Edison warned that more than 156,000 homes and businesses could lose electricity, while Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric cut off power to more than 5,300 customers in a dozen communities and warned of possible shutdowns that could potentially affect nearly 48,000 homes and business. The service will be restored after the companies have examined their power lines for wind damage.
Across California, 8,367 fires have charred nearly 3.1 million acres (1.3 million acres) of state and federal land this year, burning more than 3,600 buildings and killing three people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The fire risk is exacerbated as the entire state is currently plagued by drought, according to the US Drought Monitor.