San Diego

Homeowner in High Fire-Risk Area Welcomes Potential Power Shutoffs

San Diego Gas & Electric's potential widespread public safety power shutoff is a routine event this time of year, but one Descanso man says being prepared is simply part of his lifestyle.

Sam Currier knows hillside property is always at risk, so he stays equipped with a backup generator, oil-burning lamps and a wood-burning stove just in case he loses power.

"It’s year round for us. It’s not just fire season. It's a matter of keeping the dry stuff cut down," said Currier.

Currier said he started to realize the severity of the warnings for the entire state when he heard about the power shutoffs in Northern California.

SDG&E is watching the wind closely from their weather centers. Fire crews are clearing clear brush on the ground, and departments are bolstering staffs and preparing their resources.

Forest Service firefighters in Pine Valley are prepped to rotate on 24 hour shifts.

"We'll post up at our stations and we have patrols that will be posted up in certain areas. And then we have lookouts that are on top of the mountain looking for smoke popping up," said firefighter Torre Bailey.

Roughly 34,000 SDG&E customers know their power could shut off soon. It’s in an effort to keep power lines from sparking fires and putting lives and property at risk.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob released a statement about the power shutoffs posing a serious public safety risk to vulnerable communities that included those that rely on electricity to pump well water, senior citizens and those that rely on medical devices.

Jacob described SDG&E’s tactic as “pulling the plug” on these populations to cover their own liability risks.

Currier needs electricity to pump his well but he does have a generator and a plan.

"It’s an inconvenience but I think it's a necessity to prevent it. Fire gets started, it’ll go out of control real quick. I don't want to lose my place to live," said Currier.

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