UPDATE: By 3:30 p.m. Saturday, only 44 SDG&E customers in Campo were without power as a result of precautionary shutoffs.
SAN DIEGO -- As gusty Santa Ana winds kept fire danger at peak levels and multiple wildfires raged to San Diego's north, more than 7,000 people remained without power due to precautionary blackouts Friday.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for fierce winds, hot weather and dry conditions, which would remain in effect until 5 p.m. Friday.
As of 7 p.m. Friday, 7,453 businesses and homes had their power turned off in East County communities including Alpine, Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Dulzura, Guatay, Jacumba, Julian, Pauma Valley/Cuca Ranch, Pine Valley, Potrero, Poway, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Valley Center and Warner Springs.
Six school districts announced they would not hold classes Friday:
- Dehesa School District
- Julian Union High School District
- Julian Union School District
- Mountain Empire Unified School District
- Spencer Valley School District
- Warner Unified School District
— SD County Ofc of Ed (@SanDiegoCOE) October 25, 2019
Double Peak Elementary School in San Marcos was also closed, as about 3,000 customers in that area had power knocked out by a three-acre brush fire that was quickly controlled. Nearby California State University San Marcos cancelled classes and on-campus events due to the same fire.
San Diego Gas & Electric warned more outages, meant to decrease the risk of accidental fires, could affect as many as 50,000 San Diego customers.
The utility opened seven community resource centers from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the duration of any potential outages. The centers were available for residents to get water and snacks, charge their phones and get updated information on the outages.
The National Weather Service also issued a high-wind warning through Friday afternoon. Officials warned that damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines, while travel will be especially difficult for large vehicles such as RVs and tractor-trailers.
A #RedFlagWarning is in effect for areas of San Diego County through Friday evening. @SDSheriff wants to remind everyone to be prepared in the event of a wildfire. For more information, visit: https://t.co/ZOb530FxCj @ReadySanDiego @NWSSanDiego @CALFIRESANDIEGO @ClevelandNF pic.twitter.com/yKH7Gdnytz
— San Diego Sheriff (@SDSheriff) October 24, 2019
On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom held a briefing in Los Angeles on utility companies' Public Safety Shutoff decisions.
The governor also sent a letter to SDG&E, SoCal Edison and PG&E saying "agreed protocols and measures have not been followed universally, nor sufficiently" and "going forward, it is critical that your utilities adhere to the agreements and protocols to provide transparent and consistent notification to state and local government officials, to provide adequately resourced Community Resource Centers, and to plan for and meet the needs of your vulnerable customers."