More Blackouts Loom With Fire Threat Returning to California

Southern California is again facing the threat of wildfires, with high winds forecast to rake the parched region into next week.

The dry and windy conditions prompted utility Southern California Edison to warn nearly 25,000 Los Angeles-area customers that they could lose power as the company tries to prevent live electrical lines from sparking blazes. The outages could start Thursday afternoon, said David Song, a spokesman for the utility.

“Even though it has rained last month, it hasn’t rained enough,” Song said.

After a respite of several days, dry winds gusting up to 50 miles (81 kilometers) per hour will sweep through Los Angeles and Ventura counties, creating critical wildfire conditions Thursday, Evan Bentley, a fire weather forecaster at the U.S. Storm Prediction Center, wrote in his outlook. The state usually gets much of its rain during the winter months.

Close to 3.5 million people live in the affected area that includes Riverside, San Bernardino, and Santa Clarita, said the agency, which also tracks severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the U.S.

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