Powerful Santa Ana winds have prompted thousands of preemptive power outages for residents across Southern California Thursday.
The outages come as much of the region remains under a red flag warning through Saturday for continued gusty winds and low humidity levels.
Southern California Edison has shut off power to more than 52,000 customers as of 11 a.m., according to the Public Safety Power Shutoff Portion of its website.
Breakdown of outages by county:
- Los Angeles County: 9,935 customers
- Orange County: 1,605 customers
- Riverside County: 24,343 customers
- San Bernardino County: 3,824 customers
- Ventura County: 6,419 customers
- Kern County: 5,986 customers
- Tulare County: 42 customers
Another 245,000 customers are being considered for shutoffs, according to the website.
The outages are part of SCE’s plan to reduce the chance of utility equipment sparking a large brush fire on extremely windy days.
Three brush fires currently burning in Southern California have already scorched thousands of acres.
The Bond Fire, which started Wednesday night in Orange County’s Silverado Canyon and has already burned about 3,600 acres and forced mandatory evacuations. Investigators are still determining what started the fire, which began in a home in the Silverado Canyon area.
The Airport Fire burning in the Corona area prompted the shut down of the 71 Freeway Thursday.
Crews are also fighting a 200-acre Cerritos Fire in the Nuevo area that has also prompted evacuations.
While the causes of these brush fires are still being determined, SCE did say that power equipment was possibly responsible for the sparking the Bobcat Fire, which ripped through more than 115,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes.
Red flag warnings are expected to remain in place for parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties until 10 p.m. Saturday.