Thousands of Ventura Residents Still Out of Power

A view of the north side of Lake Casitas during the Thomas Fire, facing south (Dec. 7, 2017).
Paul Wellman

As of this morning, the Thomas Fire has pulled the plug on about 3,270 Edison customers, the power company reported. Edison media spokesperson Mary Ann Milbourn said that with the fire still actively burning, Edison crews have not been allowed into the area to assess the damage. She said blackouts are not expected to affect Santa Barbara for the moment but that as crews work in Santa Clarita in areas where the Rye Fire took out service, circuits are likely to go down and up there while repairs are being made.

During times of extreme high winds, Edison will also preemptively take areas off the grid until it decides it’s safe to “re-energize the grid.” The Idyllwild area of Riverside County was so affected Thursday morning. Milbourn explained that trees falling across power lines or lines arcing when the winds are so strong that they are blown closer together — combined with the extremely dry vegetation from years of drought — caused Edison to decide to shut down power for the first time in about 10 years. She said conversations are held with area officials before such shutdowns occur, and that planned outages only happen when weather conditions pan out.


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