Power restored in East County as San Diego firefighters head north

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SAN DIEGO — Power has been restored to 1,400 customers after unexpected high winds caused public safety shutoffs Tuesday.

A red flag warning was in effect for parts of the county as the strong winds kept firefighters on their toes.

“We get engines out of maintenance shops and vacation time gets cancelled, so we can be available for our community,” John Choi with North County Fire said.

SDG&E sent out a warning over the weekend telling customers public safety power shutoffs were possible Monday and Tuesday during Santa Ana winds. SDG&E cut power to nearly 1,400 people in parts of Boulevard, Jacuma, Japatul Valley and Live Oak Springs Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m. On Monday, 3,000 customers in Fallbrook were without power for most of the day. Inconvenient, but it reduces the risk of power lines accidently sparking a fire.

“You can feel the heat, and we could have a fast-moving fire if one breaks out right now,” Choi said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that California saw 42 fires break out in 24 hours. Firefighters from San Diego County have been dispatched to two fires in Orange County that have been fanned by Santa Ana winds. Five engines and 44 firefighters from Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos and the North County Fire Protection District are fighting the Blue Ridge and Silverado fires.

Choi expected fire danger in San Diego County to calm as the day progressed but he warned San Diegans to keep their guard up.

“There’s a lot of unburned fuel in San Diego,” he said. “So, there’s a great potential throughout San Diego County. We need to be vigilant.”

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