US: California Utilities Warn of Power Cuts on Risk of Wildfire - - PressFrom - US
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US California Utilities Warn of Power Cuts on Risk of Wildfire

12:31  21 october  2019
12:31  21 october  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

Another utility-sparked wildfire? SoCal Edison alerts state regulators it had malfunction at start of Saddleridge Fire

  Another utility-sparked wildfire? SoCal Edison alerts state regulators it had malfunction at start of Saddleridge Fire A Southern California utility company alerted state regulators that it suffered an electrical malfunction that may be linked to the damaging Saddleridge Fire burning in Los Angeles County, state officials told The Chronicle on Monday. The report by Southern California Edison to the California Public Utilities Commission was similar to one made by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. last year in the days following the Camp Fire in Butte County, the deadliest and most destructive blaze in California history. State investigators later concluded that PG&E equipment sparked the fire.

The risk of wildfires in California has clearly gone up, but Robert McCullough, a longtime consultant to energy companies and state and federal officials investigating them, said there would have been far fewer destructive fires had PG&E followed San Diego’s lead years ago.

(Reuters) - Northern Californians can expect widespread power cuts aimed at preventing wildfires for a decade while Pacific Gas & Electric upgrades PG&E cut off electricity to more than 730,000 homes and workplaces in northern California last week in a bid to reduce wildfire risks posed by extremely

(Bloomberg) -- Almost two weeks after California utilities cut electricity to 2.3 million people, two major power providers warned they may have to halt supplies to thousands across California as strong, dry winds raise the wildfire threat across the state.

a man wearing a hat standing in front of a mountain: A firefighter looks at damage during the Saddleridge fire in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. © Bloomberg A firefighter looks at damage during the Saddleridge fire in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

No major outages have occurred yet, but Edison International’s southern California unit has warned as many as 41,000 customers could lose power due to a wind storm forecast to last through Monday. Meanwhile, PG&E Corp., which serves northern and central California, said it’s also considering shutting power for safety reasons across portions of 17 counties with extreme weather forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

Saddle Ridge fire: The massive blaze started under a high-voltage transmission tower, Los Angeles officials say

  Saddle Ridge fire: The massive blaze started under a high-voltage transmission tower, Los Angeles officials say The inferno is still raging out of control, with only 45% containment as of Tuesday morning. "Investigators continue to work around the clock in steep terrain, thoroughly examining all aspects of the scene in an attempt to determine a cause," LAFD spokesman Nicholas Prange said. About 100,000 people were forced to evacuate, but all evacuation orders have been lifted. The wildfire has destroyed at least 17 structures and damaged 77 others, LAFD said. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze, and one civilian died after suffering cardiac arrest, the fire department said.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California ’s largest utility cut power to 24,000 northern customers Monday evening as fall brings back dangerous weather conditions and the company tries to head off wildfires sparked by electrical equipment. The utility shut down power to areas of Butte

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California ’s largest utility cut power to 24,000 northern customers Monday evening as fall brings back dangerous weather conditions and the company tries to head off wildfires sparked by electrical equipment. The utility shut down power to areas of Butte

“With the combination of dry air, gusty winds and dry soil conditions, we are going to see these fire conditions remain elevated going into early next week,” Andrew Orrison, a forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said by telephone.

Almost two weeks ago, PG&E Corp. blacked out 738,000 homes and businesses in an attempt to cut fire risk, prompting harsh criticism from customers and state politicians. At the time Edison also cut power to about 24,000 in its operating area.

Wildfires are a rising hazard across California and have caused major problems for the state’s electrical utilities. Two years of blazes helped push PG&E, the state’s biggest utility owner, into bankruptcy after its equipment was identified as the cause of raging blazes that included the Camp Fire in November 2018 that killed 86 people and destroyed an entire town.

Edison considers power shutdowns this weekend amid high winds and fire risk

  Edison considers power shutdowns this weekend amid high winds and fire risk Already by Friday afternoon, Southern California Edison power lines were being blamed for sparking a small brush fire in Santa Clarita. The blaze broke out shortly after noon along the southbound 5 Freeway at Calgrove Boulevard when downed wires ignited dry brush, said Marvin Lim, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Residents extinguished the flames before firefighters arrived, he said. Edison spokesman David Eisenhauer said the utility is cooperating with investigators to determine the cause of the fire."Determining the cause is a lengthy process," he said.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California ’s largest utility cut power to 24,000 northern customers Monday evening as fall brings back dangerous weather conditions and the company tries to head off wildfires sparked by electrical equipment. The utility shut down power to areas of Butte

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California ’s largest utility cut power to 24,000 northern customers Monday evening as fall brings back dangerous weather conditions and the company tries to head off wildfires sparked by electrical equipment. The utility shut down power to areas of Butte

The winds and low humidity have created critical conditions to the north and east of Los Angeles, including Santa Clarita and Burbank, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The danger will last at least until Monday and a wider area of Southern California has an enhanced risk of winds spreading fires.

Inside this weekend’s high-risk area is the Saddleridge Fire, a blaze that’s been burning for more than a week, has consumed almost 9,000 acres (3,642 hectares), and is 78% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, commonly called Cal Fire.

Across California, as well as nationally, the total acres consumed by wildfires has dropped this year, but the threat will remain until winter’s typical steady rain and snow arrives.

Slideshow by photo services

Through Oct. 13, California wildfires had consumed 162,693 acres, which lags the fire-year average of 372,066 acres, according to Cal Fire. Nationally, about 4.5 million acres have burned, below the 10-year average of 6.2 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

In the short term, the weather won’t be helping California, Orrison said. A high pressure system across the West is raising the fire risk both in California, as well as parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, the National Weather Service said.

“Certainly no rain over the weekend,” Orrison said. “The next time they could get rain is over a week from now and probably longer than that and that pretty much goes for the entire state of California. The threat of fires is going to tend to be ongoing as we go through the rest of the month out there.”

(Updates with details from PG&E in second paragraph)

--With assistance from David R. Baker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at [email protected], Aaron Clark, Ramsey Al-Rikabi

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

PG&E Warns of Biggest Blackout Ever as Windstorm Approaches .
PG&E Corp. warned it will shut off power again on Saturday to as many as 2.5 million people as violent winds batter the state -- in what will be California’s largest intentional blackout ever. The outages will impact up to 850,000 homes and businesses in Northern California, including parts of Oakland, Berkeley and other cities, PG&E said in a statement Friday. With wind gusts up to 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour forecast through Monday, much of the region could be without power for days. San Francisco, however, will be spared.

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