Brush blaze burns near SF as state braces for fire weather

A brush fire broke out just south of San Francisco Thursday as counties across the state took precautions for extreme fire danger.

BRISBANE, Calif. — A grass fire burned in Brisbane, a small city along the southern border of San Francisco, Thursday as counties around the state warned residents of increased fire danger and utilities shut down electricity as a precaution.

The fire was reported shortly before 11 a.m., and a Cal Fire helicopter could be seen dousing the blaze before noon.

No buildings were threatened, but officials said flames were moving south toward South San Francisco, KRON reported. Voluntary evacuations were in effect for buildings on a series of roads nearby: See the full list here.

The flames broke out directly beneath PG&E transmission lines, though officials said the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

About 500,000 people lost electricity throughout the day across Northern California Wednesday as part of a precautionary shutdown by the utility company, which recently settled for an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies for claims stemming from fires in 2017 and 2018.

Nearly 5,000 people were also without power in the Los Angeles area Thursday over concerns about similar brush fires.

And in San Diego, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning that will be in effect from noon Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday in valleys and mountain communities. The advisory warns of “critical fire weather” based on extremely low humidity and gusts of wind.

SDG&E warned residents that they may use precautionary power-downs, similar to those seen in NorCal and L.A., to reduce the risk of fire from electrical equipment. The utility said they would notify affected customers within 24 hours of an anticipated outage, and again within one to four hours of a shut-off, if possible.

Among areas that could be affected are Alpine, Banner Grade, Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Fallbrook, Julian, Mesa Grande, Mount Laguna, Oak Grove, Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, Rincon, Santa Ysabel, Valley Center, Viejas, Vista, Warner Springs, Valley Center and Wynola.

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