Having experienced a series of rolling blackouts and one complete blackout during the Gap Fire, Southern California Edison announced today that power service for customers on the South Coast of Santa Barbara County is no longer threatened by the fire. The fire-which has burned nearly 10,000 acres, and is currently reported as being 55 percent contained-caused service disruptions in South Coast communities from July 2nd-the day after the fire started-until as recently as a few days ago. “Residents and businesses are returning to normal operations. However, it is important to remember that until the fire is extinguished, it is possible another power outage could occur,” said Edison spokesperson Jane Brown in a press release.
Edison officials are urging people to maintain preparedness for future outages, as the fire has not yet been fully contained. During the period last week when the fire was closest to the area’s predominant transmission line, Brown explained that South Coast customers were all receiving power from a much smaller line. Heavy energy consumption by customers may have added to the blackouts, she said, and during such times, energy conservation should be practiced. Edison also suggests that in the event of a power outage, flashlights are preferable to candles, which pose a fire hazard. Customers are also advised not to use charcoal or propane barbeque grills indoors, as the fumes from these devices are toxic.
For more information, visit www.edisonnews.com.