Multi-day power shutoffs might occur within some Santa Barbara County South Coast communities starting Friday if there’s a critical threat of fire activity, according to Southern California Edison.
SCE is tracking the weather and as of Thursday morning, there had not yet been a decision whether public safety power outages will take place, Edison spokesperson Sally Jeun said Thursday morning.
About 4,600 customers are “under consideration” for a public safety power shutoff, including people in unincorporated areas west of Goleta and near Highway 154 and San Marcos Pass.
Some power companies, including SCE and PG&E, aim to reduce fire danger by preemptively shutting off electrical power in times of high-fire-risk weather, which includes high temperatures and strong winds.
A potential power shutoff could occur between Dos Pueblos Canyon Road and Gaviota and along Refugio Road and Highway 101 north of Goleta on Friday; and in the unincorporated Goleta Valley area from Paradise Road down Turnpike Road to More Mesa on Saturday, the city of Goleta said in a Wednesday night advisory.
The power shutoff could last up to five days, according to Goleta officials.
People can sign up to receive SCE public safety power shutoff notifications by email, text or phone.
The county Office of Emergency Management has preparation tips on its ReadySBC.org website here.
High temperatures are forecast for the South Coast Friday and Saturday and the National Weather Service warns of strong wind gusts.
“I would caution people to be wary of activities they are doing and make sure they are not creating sparks of any kind,” said Lisa Phillips, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “It doesn’t take much to start a fire out here when we have windy conditions.”
Daytime temperature highs in the mid-80s to mid-90s are expected Friday and cooler temperatures are predicted in the upper 60s and low 70s along beaches.
“We have warmer temperatures on Friday and cooler on Saturday,” Phillips said.
The National weather Service said northwest to north winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts of 35 mph are expected to sweep the area Friday. The winds are likely to strengthen Friday night with gusts up to 40 mph.
High temperatures were expected in the mid-80s to mid-90s on Saturday, the weather service said, and the upper 60s to mid-70s along beaches.
“We are expecting higher winds Saturday in the evening hours… gusts into the 40s (mph), possibly up to 50s and maybe isolated 60s,” Phillips said.
The forecast for Saturday night through Monday calls for mostly clear skies, with temperature lows in the mid-50s to mid-60s. Daytime highs are expected to be in the mid-70s to low 80s and around 70 degrees along beaches.
“SCE crews and meteorologists are continuing to monitor conditions in other regions that might be affected by strong winds and wind gusts,” Jeun said, adding, “Weather conditions can change, which can affect the timing and duration of an event.”
Click here for the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.