PG&E admits equipment started 10 fires in 2019; one man may have died after power-shut off; NorCal city establishes power-out curfew.
Another large wildfire is burning in the Los Angles area, sweeping its way through the northern foothills of the San Fernando Valley. It is blasting approximately 7,500 acres, burning at least 25 homes, and forcing thousands to evacuate.
The Saddleridge fire, which broke out about 9 p.m. Thursday on the north side of the 210 Freeway in Sylmar amid strong Santa Ana winds, spread rapidly westward into Porter Ranch and other communities. At its peak, the blaze was moving at a rate of roughly 800 acres an hour. The fire is 13% contained.
Mandatory evacuations were issued overnight to roughly 23,000 homes encompassing a large swath of neighborhoods north of the 118 Freeway from Tampa Avenue all the way to the Ventura County line — an area covering 100,000 residents. Officials warned that other communities near the fire need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice if the winds shift.
“The fact that community members heeded evacuation warnings early made a huge difference, allowing firefighters to enter those communities and protect properties,” said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy Dave Richardson.
The Santa Ana winds that blow this time of year are notorious for spreading wildfires. However, Pacific Gas and Electric has recently admitted in court that its equipment may have started 10 blazes this year already.
The largest utility in California told a federal judge in San Francisco that the small fires appear to have been ignited by equipment damaged by trees, vehicles or animals, according to court documents filed this month and first reported by the Sacramento Bee.
“PG&E has provided additional information at the request of the court,” the utility said in an emailed statement to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. “As we have said throughout this process, PG&E shares the court’s focus on safety and recognizes that we must take a leading role in reducing the risk of wildfire throughout Northern and Central California.”
I would like to point out that if the state’s electric supplier wasn’t forced to spend $42 billion chasing green energy schemes supported by California politicians, it might have had enough money for maintenance and repair.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the state, the power-outages continue and 1.5 million citizens will be left in the dark for some portion of the day. Sadly, the shut-down may have led to the death of one man dependent on oxygen.
Authorities said Friday that a man dependent on oxygen died about 12 minutes after PG&E shut down power in El Dorado County Wednesday. Although he could not say if the shutdown caused the man’s death, El Dorado County Fire Chief Lloyd Ogan said the man’s oxygen equipment required power.
Ogan said fire crews arrived at a residence in Pollock Pines after 3:30 a.m. to find the man, in his 60s, unresponsive.
One Northern California city is planning to enforce a temporary curfew in darkened neighborhoods.
Morgan Hill Police said in a press release that the curfew would begin when the power is shut off and continue until 6:30am Oct. 10. The curfew would only apply in the areas of the city where power has been turned off, and is intended to discourage loitering in darkened public spaces, according to city staff.
More on social media:
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 11, 2019
Explain to me how a high tax state like California has to turn power off to people in 34 counties because the infrastructure is such garbage that it might cause wildfires?
— Mindy Robinson ?? (@iheartmindy) October 9, 2019
The fire danger in Southern California will continue through tomorrow.
In Northern California, hundreds of thousands of homes are without power during the largest preventive outage in state history. pic.twitter.com/YMyTZyZjB1
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) October 10, 2019
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