[Update: Sept. 6, 2019, 12:42 p.m.] Southern California Edison said it is no longer considering the “Noleta” area for a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), but weather conditions are still being monitored for a potential PSPS in the area between Dos Pueblos Canyon Road and Gaviota and along Refugio Road and Highway 101 north of Goleta. At this time, no shutoffs have been confirmed. Possible outage areas are mapped by Edison here.
[Original Story] The temperature is rising and wind gusts as high as 35 mph are expected in the Goleta area this week, posing a huge risk for wildfires. Southern California Edison’s new commitment to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) has resulted in warnings to Goleta residents to prepare for a potential two-day outage starting Friday by charging devices and stocking up on nonperishable food and water.
In a statement Thursday morning, Edison announced that it’s still monitoring the situation and hasn’t yet decided if the shutoff — which could affect 4,600 customers — is necessary. The first possible shutoff would take place Friday, September 6 and would affect residents living between Dos Pueblos Canyon Road and Gaviota, and along Refugio Road and Highway 101 north of Goleta. The second, scheduled for Saturday, September 7, would affect those in the “Noleta” area between Santa Barbara and Goleta from Paradise Road down Turnpike Road to More Mesa.
After it was determined that Edison’s live power lines — repeatedly slammed together by high winds — sparked the 2017 Thomas Fire, the power company decided it couldn’t take any more chances and announced it would shut off power if weather conditions indicated an extreme risk of fire.
PG&E and Edison representatives told county supervisors at their August 27 meeting that a PSPS could be initiated with any sign of potential wildfire, including red flag warnings issued by the National Weather Service, humidity levels at or below 20 percent, sustained winds forecast above 25 mph, gusts forecast above 45 mph, data from computer modeling, and field observations.
The City of Goleta recommends residents prepare by purchasing batteries or other back-up charging methods for electronic devices, stocking up on at least five days’ worth of food and water, checking with their medical providers about how to store refrigerated medications and power electronic medical devices, and more tips here.