Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

Fire Watch Issued for Santa Monica Mountains and other Rural Parts of LA County

Planned power outages in fire prone areas have many outraged and in the dark.

 

October 12, 2019

A map of planned electrical power outages this weekend, in coastal Southern California

Gusty Santa Ana winds and "very low humidity" will combine to create "widespread critical fire weather conditions" in much of the Southland from early Thursday through Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service announced Wednesday. 

Separately, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas and Electric have deliberately cut electrical power to many California rural locations. This preemptive measure is intended to prevent fires, such as the one that destroyed Paradise, CA near Chico last October.

Restaurant owners have complained that the power outages are causing them to lose food stored in refrigerators. One owner claimed to have lost 30,000 worth of meat, vegetables and other items, not to mention the loss of revenue.

There has been one report of someone shooting at a PG&E lineman in rural San Bernardino county. Clearly many people are angry about the planned power outages.

Some posit that the power interruptions are political in nature. Electrical utilities such as PG&E will payout billions of dollars to 2018 fire victims, since the cause of the Camp Fire was determined to be electrical lines. PG&E used to enjoy complete immunity from such events, when Republicans were in power in California. The State Legislature has taken away that immunity during California's current era as a one party Democratic state.

Wind gusts of between 45 and 70 miles per hour are expected from mid-morning Thursday to mid-afternoon as humidity levels fall to between 3 and 10 percent, the National Weather Service said.

Given an abundance of dry vegetation, "critical fire weather conditions are expected," the NWS said in a statement.

The red flag warning will be in force in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains and the Angeles National Forest -- areas where winds blowing at a sustained 25 to 45 mph are expected, along with 70-mph gusts and humidity levels of 3-10 percent -- from 3 a.m. Thursday until 6 p.m. Friday.

 

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