Tens of thousands in SoCal could lose power on Thanksgiving as Santa Ana winds raise fire risk

Tens of thousands in Southern California face possible power shutoffs with Santa Ana winds expected to arrive Thanksgiving Day.

Southern California Edison on Thursday was considering cutting power to more than 88,000 of its customers in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties.

The utility typically weighs shut offs to avoid having its electric system ignite fires when the region sees elevated fire danger. Residents can enter their address on SoCal Edison’s website to check if their neighborhood is being considered for a “public safety power shutoff.”

“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,” Edison said in a statement.

Red flag warnings are in effect for Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 2 p.m. Thursday through 6 p.m. Friday.

Wind gusts up to 50 to 65 mph are forecast in the mountain regions and 40 to 55 mph in the coastal and valley areas, paired with very low humidity, according to the National Weather Service.

This Santa Ana wind event is expected to be a cold one, with highs in the 60s to low 70s.

Residents can expect to see toppled trees and power lines as the powerful winds sweep through the region, forecasters said.

In the Angeles National Forest, the fire department increased its staffing and additional firefighting resources moved into the area to brace for any potential fires.

Earlier this year, tree branches hitting SoCal Edison equipment in the forest near Cogswell Dam possibly sparked the Bobcat Fire, a wind-driven blaze that ripped through more than 115,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes.

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