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DWP Shuts Off Major Power Lines Due to 'Sayre' Fire

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The Sayre fire, which began around 10:30 last night in Sylmar has caused several transformers in the hills above the San Fernando Valley to explode, and as a result, the DWP has taken action to ensure the public's safety and to help the firefighters battle the blaze. According to a press release from early this morning:

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began taking major power transmission lines near the Sayre Fire out of service at 5 AM today as the fire moved west toward the I-5 Corridor in Sylmar. Transmission lines were taken out of service due to the threat posed by the fire in order to assist firefighters and protect the public's safety. The I-5 corridor through Sylmar serves as a major utility corridor for the LADWP and other utilities, bringing imported power to Los Angeles from power plants in the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern US. As the fire moved toward the high-voltage transmission lines, the LADWP turned off these lines to ensure the safety of firefighters and the public.

Because of the significant role these power lines play in supplying Los Angeles with energy, should they remain offline for a long period of time, the DWP may initiate rolling power outages in part of the City to handle the demand. The DWP is urging all customers to reduce their energy use today, and "to avoid using all major appliances, including air conditioners as long as doing so does not compromise their or their family members health or safety." As of 6:30 this morning they have been using in-basin power plants to generate energy; this is a reserve system that may not be able to make up enough power to cover the loss of the major lines that are down.

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AP Photo/Dan Steinberg