Santa Ana winds, low humidity create wildfire risk, prompt red flag warning

Santa Ana winds, low humidity create wildfire risk, prompt red flag warning
Strong Santa Ana winds prompt red flag fire warning for San Diego County
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A late-season Santa Ana Wind event has brought gusty winds and low humidity to the San Diego region, creating the potential for dangerous fire conditions. The National Weather Service has declared a Red Flag Warning for portions of San Diego and Orange Counties through late Friday, November 9.

Red Flag Warning Issued for Bay Area Hills

Santa Ana winds are expected to increase in strength Thursday into Friday with isolated wind gusts reaching up to 65 mph. Because power outages are more likely during windy conditions, we are encouraging customers to be prepared with flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-operated radio and a phone that doesnt require electricity.  

In response, we have activated our Emergency Operations Center and staffed it with key personnel like our expert Meteorology Team who are monitoring weather conditions throughout the duration of the event, especially the wind speeds in the high fire risk areas of the county.

During extreme weather conditions like this, we work closely with key safety partners, like the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and CAL FIRE San Diego to protect the safety of the communities we power. Weve developed and share innovative tools with first responder agencies to help enhance public safety and prevent fires. Customers can also use them to monitor real-time conditions in their community and track the forecast:

While additional crews are staged in areas expected to experience the strongest winds, its important to remember not all outages can be avoided and its best to always be prepared to activate your emergency preparedness plan.

We also want to remind customers to always be aware of the potential for downed power lines during high winds. If you see a downed power line, always assume it is energized and never make touch the line or any other object in contact with it. Call 911 or SDG&E at 800-411-7343 to report a downed power line.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the North Bay mountains, East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains because of an increased wildfire risk, according to the National Weather Service. Bob Redell reports.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the North Bay mountains, East Bay hills and Santa Cruz Mountains because of an increased wildfire risk, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning, which went into effect at 10 p.m. Wednesday and is slated to end at 7 a.m. Friday, was called due to high winds and low relative humidity that will make conditions ripe for fire, weather officials said. Conditions will reach critical levels Wednesday night and peak early Thursday before gradually getting better Friday.

The deteriorating conditions have prompted PG&E officials to notify customers in nine California counties — including Napa and Sonoma — that the company may shut off power beginning Thursday for safety. PG&E on Tuesday started sending automated voice messages, texts and emails to customers telling them of the possible power shutoff.

In a statement, Pat Hogan, senior vice president of electric operations for PG&E, said, “We will only consider temporarily turning off power in the interest of safety and as a last resort during extreme weather conditions to reduce the risk of wildfire.”

Extreme fire danger conditions coupled with a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service has prompted Pacific Gas and Electric Company to warn customers it may proactively turn off power starting Thursday. Bob Redell reports.

Property owners who had property damaged in the 2017 North Bay fires have filed at least seven lawsuits against PG&E. The suits accuse PG&E of negligence for failing to trim brush and inspect and maintain power lines adequately before the North Bay fires.


Posted in Santa Ana