Fires Prompt Air Quality Warning & Neglected Maintenance Force Power Shut-Offs

Orange County residents are stuck in the middle of four fires while Santa Ana winds blow over 60 mph. The South Coast Air Quality Management District put an advisory smoke warning in effect Thursday, October 10.

Residents started noticing worsening air quality from the Saddleridge fire burning in Los Angeles County, Sandalwood Fire in Riverside County, Reche Fire burning near Moreno Valley and the Wolf Fire near Banning.

The four fires are located in what’s known as the South Coast Air Basin. The 10,000 square mile area includes all of Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino and the urban parts of Los Angeles County.

According to the OC Register “A rapidly moving brush fire fanned by strong winds threatened communities in Sylmar and Granada Hills early Friday, charring more than 1,600 acres, destroying at least one commercial building and possibly homes, while prompting evacuations and snarling traffic on major Southern California freeways. “

Precautions for counties have required mandatory power stops to prevent sparks and causing more fires. This is speculated to be due to poor upkeep of power systems through decades of neglect from the bankrupt power company, PG&E.

The LA Times wrote “In an unprecedented move, Pacific Gas & Electric early Wednesday began shutting off power to about 800,000 customers across Northern California in an attempt to avoid wildfires caused by winds damaging power equipment.”

The power shut-offs trickled down the state into Southern California in a matter of just two days.

KTLA5 reported ” Southern California Edison shut off power for thousands in parts of L.A., Ventura, San Bernardino and Kern counties in an attempt to preempt brush fires sparked by electrical equipment.”

Orange County firefighters are helping other counties distinguish the fires and fire watch. This is not out of the norm for fire season in Orange County, as residents went through high winds and strong fires in August of last year during the Holy Fire. The Holy Fire prompted evacuations and destroyed over 4,000 acres.

For air quality updates and fire safety information you can check the South Coast Air Quality Management website.

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Fires Prompt Air Quality Warning & Neglected Maintenance Force Power Shut-Offs