Santa Ana winds are returning to Southern California beginning Wednesday, prompting a warning for extreme fire danger that goes into effect Wednesday night, and the potential for more public safety power shutoffs leaving thousands of Southern California Edison customers in the dark.
"We understand that having your power turned off is a hardship, especially in the middle of a pandemic and when most folks are at home. We are working to limit the number of customers who are shutoff due to Public Safety Power Shutoffs," said Vik Trehan, Southern California Edison director and incident commander.
The National Weather Service has issued a red-flag warning for most valleys and mountains of Los Angeles County and inland Orange County from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Friday, and to 10 p.m. Saturday in the Santa Clarita Valley and Santa Monica Mountains.
Low humidity combined with the strong winds will increase the risk of wildfires despite moderate temperatures in the 60s and 70s, the agency said.
A wind advisory is in effect until noon Wednesday in central Los Angeles, and until midnight in the valleys. Gusts of 45 mph are expected in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and up to 50 mph in the mountains.
If a power shutoff event occurs, power will be restored once weather conditions improve and crews have patrolled the affected circuits and deemed them safe, Southern California Edison said.
Planned outages could start as early as late Wednesday or early Thursday.
For updates and the latest information on public safety power shutoffs, SCE customers can visit https://www.sce.com/wildfire/psps.