SCE Update on Hill and Woolsey Wildfires

November 09, 2018

Media Contact: Steve Conroy, (626) 302-2255

ROSEMEAD, Calif., November 9, 2018 — Southern California Edison’s Emergency Operations Center has mobilized resources and crews to assist first responders and to begin restoring power in communities affected by the wildfires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties as soon as fire officials say it is safe.

The company’s top priority continues to be the safety of customers, employees and communities. SCE is working closely with first responder partners and is prepared to safely and quickly restore power as soon as possible.

As of 5:45 p.m., 23,000 customers were without power, with 20,000 of them in Los Angeles County, many affected by the fires. SCE is currently monitoring several fires impacting customers within its service territory, including the Hill Fire in Ventura County and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, which has moved into the Malibu area.

The fires have damaged SCE equipment and lines and caused outages in fire-affected areas. Once it is safe to do so and access has been granted, SCE’s damage assessment teams will determine what equipment and repairs are needed before repairs can begin. SCE air patrols may also be required to fully assess damage caused by the fires in more remote areas, but that access is limited due to flight restrictions for fire-fighting operations.

SCE has been in communication with the California Public Utilities Commission with respect to these fires and has submitted an initial electric safety incident report on the Woolsey Fire reporting an outage in the vicinity. The information in the report is preliminary. There has been no determination of origin or cause of either wildfire. SCE will fully cooperate with any investigations. 

Comprehensive Policies Needed to Address the Growing Threat of Wildfires

With the increasingly serious, ever-growing wildfire threat to California, it is unmistakably clear that further work needs to be done to develop thoughtful, comprehensive policies to address this statewide problem. SCE strongly supports the increased funding for fire suppression and improved forest and land use management policies included in SB 901. SCE will continue to invest in hardening its infrastructure and implementing industry-leading safety practices, as demonstrated by SCE’s recent Grid Safety and Resiliency Program (GS&RP) filing at the CPUC and as will be further laid out in SCE’s wildfire mitigation plan required by SB 901 (Dodd, D-Napa). 

While the state legislature has taken an important initial step to mitigate wildfire risks through the passage of SB 901, much more work is needed to address the critical issues of fire prevention, suppression efforts and 

liability allocation. SCE believes the state can do more, including enacting fire-smart building codes, particularly in high fire risk areas, and ensuring the proper allocation of legal responsibility — including SCE’s where appropriate — for the often-tragic consequences of wildfires.

The new Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery established under SB 901 provides an opportunity for a thoughtful, in-depth examination of how state policy allocates liability and compensates for fire damage. Without continued focus, the wildfire threat will only become more acute as our climate continues to change.

Edison’s Efforts at Managing the Wildfire Threat in California

Safety is the company’s top priority and a core value for SCE. Our employees work vigilantly year-round to strengthen the electric system and protect the public and our employees against a variety of natural and man-made threats. We have long taken substantial steps to reduce the risk of wildfires in our service territory and continue to look for ways to enhance our operational practices and infrastructure. SCE employs design and construction standards, vegetation management practices and other operational practices to mitigate wildfire risk and has collaborative partnerships with fire agencies to maintain fire safety.

About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.



Topics: Wildfire