california wildfire Copyright David McNew/Getty Images

Southern California Edison Responds to Wildfires in Service Territory

SCE crews and field personnel are attempting to make damage assessments, but are being hampered by fire conditions in certain areas

A number of wildfires are currently affecting customers and electric service in Southern California Edison’s service territory. SCE crews and field personnel are attempting to make damage assessments, but are being hampered by fire conditions in certain areas.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of our employees and customers,” said Kevin Payne, chief executive officer of SCE. “We have mobilized additional resources to the impacted areas and we are working to restore electric service to our customers as quickly and safely as possible. Our thoughts and concerns are with everyone affected by these wildfires.”

SCE initiated proactive measures over the weekend as weather forecasts indicated elevated fire risks. This included the mobilization of a full Incident Management Team, the pre-staging of critical field personnel and the implementation of measures to mitigate impacts of high winds. SCE continues to actively manage the impact of the fires to its electric systems as well as to its customers. The company remains in close coordination with fire agencies and other first responders to ensure employee and public safety.

Transmission lines will continue to be threatened as the fires continue to burn along transmission paths, possibly causing additional power interruptions. A local transmission emergency was declared by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) due to the loss of critical transmission lines serving the Ventura and Santa Barbara area.

SCE’s priority is to restore the transmission system or reroute power from unaffected areas to impacted customers. Some customers in fire-affected areas should be prepared to be without power for days or experience intermittent outages for the next few days because of damage caused by the fire. SCE appreciates its customers’ patience as the company works safely to restore power to affected areas. During this period, we ask customers in and around the affected areas to conserve electricity whenever possible. For safety’s sake, always consider downed power lines as live or energized, never touch or approach a downed power line, and call 911.

Based on the apparent location of the origin of both the Thomas fire in the Ventura and Santa Barbara area and the Creek Fire in Sylmar, and the performance of SCE’s system, SCE has no indication that the company’s facilities were a source of these fires. There continues to be a persistent threat of additional fires due to this severe weather event including the emergent Rye fire in the Santa Clarita area; and the company is unaware of the source of ignition of this new fire at this early stage. CAL FIRE will be conducting a thorough investigation.

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