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SDG&E Warns Of Possible Outages To Prevent Wildfires In Dry, Gusty Weather

This undated image shows a map of communities in San Diego County that are af...

Credit: San Diego Gas & Electric

Above: This undated image shows a map of communities in San Diego County that are affected by potential SDG&E outages.

San Diego Gas & Electric announced this week that the utility may shut off power in certain parts of San Diego County due to forecasted weather conditions that could pose a danger to power lines and increase the risk of wildfires.

AFFECTED COMMUNITIES:

– Boulevard

– Descanso

– East Alpine

– East Ramona

– Fallbrook

– Julian

– Mesa Grande

– Mt Laguna

– Palomar Mountain

– Pine Valley

– Potrero

– Rancho Santa Fe

– Rincon

– Santa Ysabel

– Valley Center

– Viejas

– West Valley Center

– Wynola

The outages could impact up to 29,000 customers in 19 local communities, according to the utility.

The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a red flag warning because of low humidity conditions and forecasts of gusty winds.

Listen to this story by Shalina Chatlani.

RELATED: Millions Face Power Outages Across Northern, Central California

SDG&E’s announcement comes as millions of people in Northern and Central California face power outages as another utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, braces for what is called an unprecedented wildfire danger, especially in the East County.

"The red flag warning stays into effect until Friday evening at 6 p.m.," SDG&E meteorologist Brian D’Agostino said. "After that we’ll have to do an assessment if we do experience any power outages, so we’d certainly like to be prepared into the day Saturday."

SD&G said cutting power is a tool of last resort. The utility has been cutting power to mitigate wildfire risks since 2013. The most recent outage was late last year.

Reported by Shalina Chatlani , Video by Andi Dukleth

"I don’t think they’re making a mistake as it related to proactive measures to mitigate the prospect of fires," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. "I think that’s the right decision and I think that is demonstrable — especially down here — because that is a best practice."

SDG&E said it does not know how many people may be affected by the power outage but 30,000 have been notified.

Those with medical devices that run on electricity are advised to prepare emergency plans.

RELATED: California Power Outage: What Happens When The Lights Go Out

Gusts of 35 to 45 mph were forecast to sweep across the region, including the Sierra Nevada foothills where a fire last year blamed on PG&E transmission lines killed 85 people and virtually incinerated the town of Paradise.

Fore more information about SDG&E power outages, visit the utility outage map.

KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman contributed to this story

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