Update on Woolsey Fire November 12

Woolsey Fire Under Investigation

The Woolsey Fire, which was first reported in the area of Woolsey Canyon Road near the former Rocketdyne complex south of Simi Valley, may have been started by electrical malfunctions, according to California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) officials.

According to a CBS report, “Two minutes before Cal Fire said that the devastating fire began Thursday, Southern California Edison (SCE) issued an alert to the CPUC after a substation circuit near the Woolsey Fire origin ‘relayed,’ or sensed a disturbance on the circuit.”

According to the City News Service, “Southern California Edison submitted an electrical safety report to state regulators telling there was an outage at one of its substations [Chatsworth] in the San Fernando Valley about two minutes before the Woolsey fire ignited in Ventura County, officials said.

“According to the report, the Woolsey fire was reported at 2:24 p.m. Thursday and a circuit went out at the Chatsworth substation at 2:22 p.m.”

SoCal Edison has not been able to access the site and the company had no indication from fire personnel that the Chatsworth substation was involved in the start of the fire.

How close is Pacific Palisades to the Woolsey fire?  Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby told a media gathering on Sunday that he credited the Los Angeles Fire Department with keeping areas to the south, especially in Bell Canyon, “buttoned up” by employing some 50 engines on the fire’s flank to keep it from spreading south of Mulholland Highway into Topanga Canyon and Pacific Palisades

Palisades Highlands residents, who basically have only one way in and one way out, should be alert and ready to evacuate in case the fire spreads to Topanga Canyon.

Pacific Palisades is still under Red Flag warnings until Wednesday at 5 p.m., “due to continued low humidity and enough wind to create critical fire weather conditions,” according to the National Weather Service.

The Woolsey fire, as of Monday night at 7 p.m., is 30 percent contained, with more than 93,000 acres and an estimated 370 structures burned.

Malibu and Topanga are still under mandatory evacuations. Palisades High School is a Red Cross evacuation center, and the school will remain closed on Tuesday.

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