SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With the National Weather Service extending the Red Flag Warning through 8 p.m., Sunday, due to high fire danger, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has mobilized numerous resources to support local firefighting agencies, including the Erickson Aircrane which can release 2,650 gallons of water or fire suppressant per drop. The company has contracted to bring this firefighting resource into the region for the last eight years during high fire season, which unofficially ended in November.
SDG&E secured the return of the Aircrane Wednesday and deployed the helitanker in coordination with CAL FIRE on Thursday to fight the Lilac fire in Bonsall, Calif. near Interstate 15, north of San Diego. The Aircrane, which is equivalent to the capacity of five fire engines, will remain stationed in the San Diego region for the next few weeks. On Thursday, it made 20 water drops totaling 30,000 gallons in support of firefighting efforts.
CAL FIRE is the lead agency and will determine the cause of this fire. Based on preliminary reports regarding the origin of the fire and performance of the company's system, the company has no indication that its facilities were a source of ignition.
Below is a list of other proactive measures that SDG&E is implementing in coordination with regional emergency response providers to protect lives and property from wildfires:
- Since Monday, the SDG&E Emergency Operations Center has been staffed to monitor weather conditions throughout the duration of the event, especially the wind speeds in the high fire risk areas of the county.
- SDG&E has staged crews and contract firefighters in the areas where the winds are forecast to be the strongest. Proactively locating crews in those areas can shorten response time responding to outages.
- SDG&E more than doubled the number of contract wildland fire-suppression trucks with trained firefighting personnel—bringing the total to 13—and staged these crews in the areas where winds are expected to see the highest wind gusts.
- SDG&E proactively called 170,000 customers in affected areas to alert them of the possibility of power outages related to high winds and reminding them to be prepared to activate their personal emergency plan.
- SDG&E worked with the American Red Cross to set up Community Centers for customers experiencing power outages. Red Cross volunteers will ensure the centers are open 24/7 until they are no longer needed.
SDG&E takes its responsibility to safely operate the electrical system very seriously. If conditions threaten the integrity of the system, creating an emergency, SDG&E will turn off the power to protect the public. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration, include but are not limited to, the circumstances of the emergency, wind speed measurements, temperature, humidity, field observations by SDG&E crews, and information from CAL FIRE and other fire agencies.
SDG&E understands the inconvenience of shutting off power and will make every effort to restore service promptly once it is safe to do so.
As of 3 a.m. Friday, SDG&E has turned off power to approximately 17,000 customers for safety reasons. SDG&E proactively called customers whose service was turned off for safety, advising them to be sure they have adequate emergency supplies on hand for an extended period. Current conditions indicate that power may remain out for several days before it can be safely restored.
Residents in high-wind areas are encouraged to monitor SDG&E's weather page for real-time updates on conditions at sdgeweather.com, as well as the outage page for updated restoration times at sdge.com/outage. They are advised to be aware of the potential for downed power lines due to gusty Santa Ana winds. Never touch a downed power line and assume that all electrical lines are energized at all times. Call 911 or SDG&E to report a downed power line.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides safe, reliable, clean energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. More than 4,000 employees work to provide the cleanest, safest and most reliable energy in the West. The company was the first to meet California's goal of delivering 33 percent of energy from renewable sources, has fueled the adoption of electric vehicles and energy efficiency through unique customer programs, and supports a number of non-profit partners. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and future actions to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: actions and the timing of actions, including decisions, new regulations, and issuances of permits and other authorizations by the California Public Utilities Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, states, cities and counties, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the United States and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in obtaining or maintaining permits and other authorizations on a timely basis, risks in completing construction projects on schedule and on budget, and risks in obtaining the consent and participation of partners; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers; modifications of settlements; delays in, or disallowance or denial of, regulatory agency authorizations to recover costs in rates from customers (including with respect to regulatory assets associated with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station facility and 2007 wildfires) or regulatory agency approval for projects required to enhance safety and reliability; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, moratoriums or limitations on the withdrawal or injection of natural gas from or into storage facilities, and equipment failures; changes in energy markets; volatility in commodity prices; moves to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas; the impact on the value of our investment in natural gas storage and related assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for storage services; risks posed by actions of third parties who control the operations of our investments, and risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; weather conditions, natural disasters, accidents, equipment failures, computer system outages, explosions, terrorist attacks and other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gases, radioactive materials and harmful emissions, cause wildfires and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance (including costs in excess of applicable policy limits) or may be disputed by insurers; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; capital markets and economic conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments; fluctuations in inflation, interest and currency exchange rates and our ability to effectively hedge the risk of such fluctuations; changes in the tax code as a result of potential federal tax reform, uncertainty as to what proposals will be enacted, if any, and, if enacted, how they would be applied; changes in foreign and domestic trade policies and laws, including border tariffs, revisions to international trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, and changes that make our exports less competitive or otherwise restrict our ability to export or resolve trade disputes; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong and aggressive competitors; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company's (SDG&E) electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources; the impact on competitive customer rates due to the growth in distributed and local power generation and the corresponding decrease in demand for power delivered through SDG&E's electric transmission and distribution system and from possible departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation or other forms of distributed and local power generation, and the potential risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on the company's website at www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same as the California Utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
Christy Ihrig, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066