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Thousands of people in California had their power shut off amid wildfire danger

Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner may be a challenge for the more than 3,100 Southern California families who have just...

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 4:08 PM

Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner may be a challenge for the more than 3,100 Southern California families who have just lost power due to the wildfire threat sweeping across the region.

Strong Santa Ana winds, combined with dry fuels, led Southern California Edison (SCE) to enact a Public Safety Power Shutoff -- the intentional disruption of power to mitigate wildfire danger.

Low humidity and wind gusts of 40-65 miles per hour are expected, according to the National Weather Center, raising the danger of debris coming in contact with power equipment that could emit sparks igniting dry brush and exploding into a wildfire.

Nearly 112,000 more SCE customers have been warned that their electricity could be cut at any time on Thursday and Friday.

"We understand these PSPS actions are disruptive to our customers—especially during the Thanksgiving holiday—and we are making every effort to reduce the impact," SCE said on Twitter.

Before shutting off power, SCE uses weather forecasts and field observations to determine whether there's a serious danger of objects blowing into power lines. The power will be restored after the weather event ends and crews believe it is safe to do so.

The bulk of those under a PSPS warning reside in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. Nearly all of those currently without power are in Ventura County.

Utility giant SCE's equipment has agreed to pay $360 million to settle claims that blamed them for the 2018 Woolsey Fire that killed three people and is considered one of the most destructive fires in California history.

Federal officials investigating the origins of the massive Bobcat Fire are focusing on utility equipment owned by SCE that experienced an issue moments before the fire was first reported. The Bobcat Fire is one of the largest ever in Los Angeles County, and burned over 113,000 acres.

SCE serves about 5 million customers over an area of 50,000 square miles stretching from Bakersfield to Orange County.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3055568

Reported Deaths: 34441
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103280614122
San Bernardino2561091560
Riverside2504362645
San Diego2168352109
Orange2148082477
Santa Clara943661109
Kern86718565
Fresno82485968
Sacramento806781111
Alameda67952765
Ventura62101436
San Joaquin58290786
Contra Costa52965450
Stanislaus42882758
Tulare41867506
Monterey36126255
San Mateo32596309
San Francisco29321262
Solano25806106
Imperial25317465
Santa Barbara25083236
Merced24452308
Sonoma24068240
Kings19435145
Placer17380180
San Luis Obispo15929136
Madera13443151
Santa Cruz12298113
Marin11693157
Yolo10620131
Shasta9776122
Butte9474123
El Dorado782644
Sutter775478
Napa760140
Lassen519516
San Benito496343
Yuba495127
Tehama397142
Tuolumne338240
Nevada320673
Mendocino311432
Amador301631
Lake261230
Humboldt239324
Glenn193519
Colusa17339
Calaveras161723
Siskiyou144613
Mono11214
Inyo97429
Del Norte8662
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 57°
Oroville
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Red Bluff
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 55°
Red Bluff
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Chico
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 57°
As expected, we had much quieter weather around northern California on Wednesday with plenty of sunshine, much weaker wind, and a wide range of temperatures. Thursday will be similar, but much more active weather is coming.
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