California is experiencing a heat wave so intense that the possibility of power outages is at its highest level for the year. The authorities reported that the demand for electricity could reach 51,000 megawatts on Tuesday, the highest in the history of the state.
As residents turn on their air conditioners, the state anticipates a record level of energy use, said Elliot Mainzer, president of the California Independent System Operators (CAISO), the agency that manages the state’s power grid.
California currently has additional power capacity, “but rolling or phased outages are a possibility,” Mainzer said, calling energy conservation measures “absolutely essential.”
On Tuesday, the CAISO website projected that the state’s electrical capacity could fall 5,000 megawatts below demand at peak usage time, calculated as 5:30 pm.
Wildfire danger was extreme due to the combination of high temperatures and low humidity.
Four deaths were reported this weekend as some 4,400 firefighters battled 14 blazes across the state, said Anale Burlew, deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
In the southern part of the state, two people were killed and one was injured by the Fairview Fire, which broke out Monday near the city of Hemet, the Riverside County Fire Department said. The fire, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, quickly expanded to at least 2,400 acres (971 hectares) and was only 5% contained. Several structures burned.
Authorities have not released the identity of the dead. The two people were found in the same area, but it is unknown if they lived together. They were apparently trying to flee the flames when they suffocated from the smoke and heat.
Source: El Nuevo Herald