California fires spark CAISO transmission emergency

CAISO on Thursday extended an electric transmission emergency in Ventura County because of raging wildfires in Southern California that have forced the evacuation of almost 200,000 people and threaten about 15,000 structures.

The wildfires have been fanned by the seasonal Santa Ana winds originating inland and gusting into populated areas of Southern California. The state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said that winds in the Santa Monica Mountains in Ventura County sustained speeds of 66 mph and gusted up to 85 mph.

Southern California Edison said about 23,000 customers across its territory had lost power because of the fires by midday. The utility shut off power to the Idyllwild area in Riverside County “due to severe weather conditions.”

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