September 27, 2020 (San Diego) – Due to elevated fire weather conditions and forecasted Santa Ana winds, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has notified certain backcountry residents that it may have to turn off power in order to reduce wildfire risk in the coming days. Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are approved by state regulators as an important safety tool to mitigate fire risk during dangerous weather conditions.
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Monday for inland San Diego County mountains and foothills. Weak to moderate strength Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive today, peak Monday morning in strength and become weak to moderate by the end of the day. In preparation, SDG&E has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor conditions 24/7 and has organized personnel and pre-staged materials and equipment for response.
Yesterday, SDG&E sent PSPS notifications to approximately 700 customers at risk of Public Safety Power Shutoffs via phone, text messages and email. Customers who were notified should be prepared to activate their personal emergency plan to keep their family, pets and livestock safe. SDG&E will continue to provide customers with updates when there is more certainty about forecasted weather conditions.
Since 2007, SDG&E has invested more than $2 billion in system hardening, situational awareness, and customer outreach and communications programs to help prevent catastrophic wildfires. Using sophisticated weather, fire and vegetation monitoring tools, as well as supercomputers to run fire simulations and predictive analytics, SDG&E can pinpoint which circuits or segments of power lines are most at risk.
A list of areas at risk of PSPS is available at sdge.com/ready. SDG&E’s network of 230 weather stations located throughout its service territory provides grid operators with real-time data on wind, temperature and humidity conditions and help them decide when and whether to de-energize power lines to maintain safety.
To enhance customer awareness of when the weather changes and becomes dangerous quickly, SDG&E recently released a new PSPS app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play.