Roughly 11,000 people are without power today as a result of extreme winds and multiple wildfires burning throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties in Southern California.
Southern California Edison (SCE) reported more than 8,800 people without power, including 6,300 customers affected by the Thomas fire along the North Coast and the city of Ventura, where a state of emergency has been declared and a curfew instated. Another 2,900 people in Los Angeles have been affected according to the L.A. County Department of Water and Power. To view current outages, click here.
The fires have been ravaging the area for the better part of a week, covering more than 116,350 acres and causing more than 200,000 to evacuate. The Thomas fire in Ventura County has been particularly devastating, covering 96,000 acres—an area larger than Philadelphia. It remains at 5 percent containment.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), has issued a Red Flag warning for the region through Saturday, indicating “weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.”
Damage assessment teams and crews are working to determine when they can begin repairs, but the SEC warns that customers are likely to see more power outages amid the duration of the red flag warning (either from damage or because the SCE turns off power due to safety concerns because of extreme winds). When these outages occur, the power will remain off until weather conditions improve.
At height of the outage on Dec. 4, more than 200,000 people lost electricity. Power has returned for most, but thousands are still waiting while extreme wind speeds and continued fires could cause further outages.
Cal Fire warned that fires are likely to worsen as winds are expected to reach 80 miles per hour on Thursday, Dec. 7, spreading the blaze even further.
#SantaAnaWinds will continue to elevate fire danger in Southern CA with expectant winds reaching 80 mph on Thursday. Any new fires will have extreme levels of fire growth potential. Prepare now & be ready to GO! Learn more about evacuation preparedness: https://t.co/hHTBtHlGh9 pic.twitter.com/Tm0X2Tui6r— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 6, 2017