Fire and Wind-Related Outages
Fire and Wind-Related Update
- As of 9 p.m., the Thomas fire is causing intermittent outages and power surges in the Santa Barbara area, potentially affecting up to 85,000 customers.
- In the Ventura area, 2,432 customers are currently without power.
- Generators have been deployed in numerous locations as repairs continue.
Santa Barbara Transmission Emergency
- The Thomas fire has intermittently interrupted the transmission lines for the Santa Barbara area, at times leaving more than 85,000 customers without electric power.
- The Santa Barbara area transmission emergency is not affecting other parts of SCE’s transmission system.
- Our crews are continuing to monitor the situation.
- The fire is continuing to threaten the transmission lines serving Santa Barbara.
- We are coordinating our emergency efforts with state, county and local officials.
- Medical Baseline, Critical Care and Essential Use customers have been advised.
- We contacted all 21 of its Critical Care customers and supplied generators to 18 of them. Three declined.
- We remind customers experiencing a service interruption in the Santa Barbara area they do not need to call SCE to report a power outage. If it’s a medical emergency, call 911. This keeps telephone lines open for other emergencies.
- We are requesting residential and commercial customers to significantly reduce power consumption in order to provide maximum coverage to the entire Santa Barbara area.
- We appreciate all of the donations that have been made at the Ventura Laydown Yard, but the best way to help is to donate at the American Red Cross and United Way Ventura County. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- If evacuees need the location of a shelter or other help, go to redcross.org and check the shelter map or download the Red Cross Emergency App. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Creek, Rye and Liberty fires
Customers still impacted by the other three fires burning in SCE territory include the:
- Creek fire in Sylmar (10 customers)
- Rye fire in Santa Clarita (0 customers)
- Liberty fire in Murrieta (0 customers)
Thomas fire restoration effort
- Damage assessment teams have been granted access to 80 percent of the fire-damaged areas of the Thomas fire through Saturday. Progress of their work will be determined by weather conditions, terrain and the movement of the fire, but so far 122 of 367 damaged poles have been replaced.
- Contingent on flight restrictions by fire agencies, aerial inspections will be done Monday morning in fire-affected areas.
- When fully assessed, we anticipate the magnitude of the damage to be extensive.
- The restoration effort for the Thomas fire can be described as wholesale construction work on the local circuits that power the fire-affect areas. This will include the engineering and design of all utility structures, and the installation of poles, transformers, switches, etc.
- Through preliminary damage assessments as well as reassessing resource needs, SCE has determined native and contractor resources are adequate to manage restoration requirements and, therefore, mutual assistance is not required at this time.
- We requested information on availability of crews from other utilities for mutual assistance. A decision on this will be made when the company has completed an assessment of the damage.
- Power will be restored to customer incrementally on a circuit by circuit basis.
- There is no specific order in which customers will have power restored beyond the accessibility to the fire-damaged areas. The only priorities that will be considered where accessibility isn’t an issue are essential services (police and fire facilities, hospitals, water and sewage facilities) and critical care customers.
- The last circuits to be rebuilt may take up to a week or more.
- Key equipment currently in the Thomas fire laydown yard:
- 232 poles – from 40 to 65 feet.
- 73,000 feet of overhead and underground of wire.
- 200 transformers from 25kv to 100kv.
- 800 crossarms from 10 to 12 feet.
- 5 omni-ruptor (overhead pulse switches) – key pieces of equipment that sectionalize the circuits.
- More than 600 SCE workers — it will be more than 800 once the mobile kitchen is set up on Monday — are being fed at the laydown yard at the city of Ventura’s Aquatic Center.
- The aquatic center location also includes a mobile command center (recreational vehicle), two mobile offices, laundry service and shuttle vans to take crews to their hotels.
Ad hoc information
- After fire agencies granted us access, SCE crews have done damage assessments in 80 percent of the areas initially impacted by the Thomas fire and 100 percent of the areas impacted by the Creek and Rye fires. Restoration is complete for the Liberty fire.
- Crews have replaced 122 of the 367 poles damaged to date in the Thomas fire, 29 of the 57 poles damaged in the Creek fire, 19 of the 32 poles damaged in the Rye fire and all 14 damaged in the Liberty fire.
- We used helicopters to start setting 16 poles in the areas affected by the Creek fire. This work is scheduled to continue on Monday morning.
- Where air operations are not required, our crews continue to clean up fire-damaged equipment (including damaged poles, wires and insulators) and setting poles, installing electrical equipment and stringing wire to restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible.
- There are reports of individuals posing as Edison employees going to residences in fire areas attempting to enter homes. SCE employees will never enter a residence or ask for cash payments for services. If you suspect suspicious activity, immediately call police.
- Customer Service will be sending messages to critical care and medical baseline customers affected by fire-related outages.
- We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to restore service under difficult and volatile conditions.
- Transmission lines will continue to be threatened as the fire continues to burn along the transmission path possibly causing additional interruptions.
- Due to the fires, the system could face additional strain and customers are being asked to conserve energy.
- Many of the scheduled maintenance outages in areas affected by the fires will be rescheduled.
- Customers who received a recent notification of a maintenance outage can check on its status by going to sce.com/outages. Then select: “View Your Maintenance Outage Status” Customers can use the Outage Number from their notification to get the latest information.
- 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, and has requested additional generation units to support restoration of power for the impacted area.
- Our priority is to restore the transmission system or reroute power from unaffected areas to impacted customers.
- We have mobilized resources to the impacted areas, and additional staffing and resources are on standby in event of outages caused by the fire.
- We are working with fire operations personnel who are fighting the fire, as well as working closely with emergency operations organizations in the affected areas.
- In response to the Creek and Rye fires, the American Red Cross is distributing much-needed items such as rakes, shovels, cleanup kits, gloves and sifters along with snacks and water in the affected areas.
- Edison International supports the American Red Cross with a $500,000 grant through PrepareSoCal, a public awareness campaign to create more resilient communities that are better equipped to help each other prevent, prepare for and respond to life-threatening disasters.
- During incidents, the Red Cross also provides Edison with critical information, including locations of shelters and disaster recovery efforts, such as distributing and providing needed supplies to help residents clean up and be safe.
- Edison International is also providing a $40,000 grant to United Way Ventura County for disaster relief.
You can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the SCE outages app at sce.com/outages. Customers can also get the latest information by visiting www.sce.com/staysafe or at twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.
SCE Safety Tips in Fire Area & High-Wind Conditions:
- Remember to check emergency supplies to be sure you have a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and fresh batteries. Do not use candles for lighting as they pose a fire hazard.
- If you’re in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away.
- Power outages in the area may impact traffic signals, and vehicles should treat all intersection as four-way-stops. Use extreme caution.
- Use flashlights instead of candles to avoid fire hazards in your homes and businesses.
- Water and electricity don’t mix. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Do not step in or enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.
- If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews. Please consult the manufacturer’s manual for operating the generator.
- Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.