Almost 85,000 Southern California Edison customers are facing potential power shutoffs on Thanksgiving due to extreme fire danger.
Southern Edison has begun shutting off power in scattered communities throughout Southern California as strong Santa Ana winds elevate the risk of fire on Thanksgiving Day.
An Edison map indicates power has been shut off in neighborhoods of Moorpark, Simi Valley, Porter Ranch, Santa Clarita. Also Fontana police are alerting residents of an expected outage in area of the north part of the city. Riverside County says an area just south of Cabazon is likely to be de-energized as well Thursday afternoon.
Edison says nearly 85,000 customers are at risk of power shutoffs on Thanksgiving because of the fire danger.
The utility estimates as of 11:30 a.m. power has been shut off for 3,167 customers, most of them in Ventura County and about 200 in Los Angeles County.
"Turning off our customers' power is not something we take lightly, but Public Safety Power Shutoff events are one of the ways we can better ensure the safety of the public, our customers, and our employees,'' Edison said on its website.
The shutoff of power is designed to reduce the risk of fires caused by electrical equipment when strong winds are forecast. Several large fires in California have been linked to electrical equipment.
Red flag warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for a large portion of Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Wind gusts of up to 65 mph are possible.
The company added more neighborhoods to the potential shutoff list.
As of 4 a.m. Thursday, 21,059 customers in Los Angeles County, 4,422 customers in Riverside County, 2,679 customers in Orange County, 16,676 in Ventura County and 39,127 in San Bernardino County were under consideration for having their power shut off beginning around 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Edison said.
A map of communities from Oxnard to Banning that could be affected is available here.
An Edison spokesman told Eyewitness News if a customer's home is under consideration for a power shutoff, they may want to prepare their Thanksgiving meal earlier than planned.
The utility says it generally sends customers a notice of a power shutoff 48 hours in advance.
"If your power has been shut off, we will restore power as soon as the weather conditions permit, and crews have inspected the power lines to confirm it is safe to restore power,'' Edison said.
SCE customers can sign up for alerts to let them know if the power will be shut off.
Some of the largest, most devastating wildfires in California history have been linked to electrical equipment.
City News Service contributed to this report.