Santa Ana winds, wildfire hazards dwindle in San Diego area


A brush fire that broke out near a Chula Vista riverbed burned two acres by early Thursday, authorities said.

Data pix.

SAN DIEGO -- As a strong Santa Ana wind event and its accompanying wildfire hazards dissipated across the San Diego area Thursday, utility officials restored electrical service to thousands of homes and businesses affected by precautionary power shutoffs.

Early Thursday evening, the National Weather Service rescinded a red-flag warning it had issued Tuesday night to alert the public to the combustion hazards posed by the gusty and dry conditions in the county.

By then, San Diego Gas & Electric had gotten the power back on in virtually all areas blacked out by a series of intentional disconnections from the regional grid, a measure designed to prevent wildfires that could be sparked by transmission equipment.

As of 6 p.m., only two customers-- both in the Pine Hills/Santa Ysabel area -- remained without power due to the pre-emptive shutoffs, according to SDG&E public affairs.

Eight hours earlier, more than 16,000 of the utility's customers were without electrical service due to the public-safety program. The locales impacted to varying degrees included Alpine, Boulevard, Campo, Descanso, Dulzura, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Jamul, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pala, Pauma Valley, Pine Valley, Potrero, Poway, Rainbow, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa Fe, Santa Ysabel and Valley Center.

As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, at the height of the blustery, arid weather conditions, SDG&E had shut off power to 25,500 homes and businesses in many of those same areas.

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