East County

SDG&E Notifies East County Residents of Possible Power Outages Ahead of Elevated Fire Weather Conditions

To prepare for elevated fire weather conditions, Cal Fire San Diego County is increasing its staff to prepare for any disasters

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San Diego Gas & Electric notified certain East County residents Sunday that it may have to turn off power because of elevated fire weather conditions.

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a fire weather watch for Monday for inland San Diego County mountains and foothills.

Weak to moderate Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive Sunday, peak Monday morning and become weak to moderate by the end of the day, the NWS said.

"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," then utility said.

On Saturday, SDG&E sent notifications to about 700 customers at risk of public safety power shutoffs by 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," the utility said. "SDG&E will continue to provide customers with updates when there is more certainty about forecasted weather conditions."

The move comes after the Valley Fire scorched through several parts of East County in early September, forcing residents to evacuate their homes. As firefighters dealt with that blaze, another fire sparked in Santee on Sept. 10, which came dangerously close to Janice Brown's home.

Brown told NBC 7 she had been living in her Santee home since 2008 and realized the mid-September fire was just behind her house.

"I was just scared," she said. "I thought, 'get the jewelry and get the dog, and get the dog food and we'll go.' So, that was it -- the most important things."

San Diego Fire-Rescue Deputy Fire Chief, David Gerboth, said this year's peak fire season has been one for the books so the agency is at the ready for this week's fire weather.

"We're getting ready," he said. "Starting on Monday, we’re going to have additional crews and equipment that's staffed. Our helicopters will be staffed 24 hours a day. We’re stopping up additional wildland fire engines."

So is Cal Fire San Diego. The agency is increasing its staff to prepare for any disasters. Two additional contract dozers and more water tenders have been staffed for the occasion.

"We are staffing nearly every piece of equipment we have- which gives us the resources to cover San Diego County while still assisting other incidents statewide," Cal Fire said in a statement.

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