Woolsey Fire: Chatsworth substation outage occurred minutes before blaze was reported, SoCal Edison says

CHATSWORTH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The cause of the 91,572-acre Woolsey Fire remained under investigation Monday but Southern California Edison reported to a state agency that there was an outage on an electrical circuit near where it started as Santa Ana winds blew through the region.

SoCal Edison said the report was submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission although there was no indication from fire officials that its equipment may have been involved. The report said the fire was reported around 2:24 p.m. Thursday, two minutes after the outage at Edison's Chatsworth substation.

A spokesperson for the commission said the report will be included in the agency's "investigations to assess the compliance of electric facilities with applicable rules and regulations in fire impacted areas."

As of Monday afternoon, 3,764 Edison customers were without power in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, nearly all of those due to the Woolsey Fire.

"Our crews have been granted limited access in some areas and are working to restore power as conditions safely allow," the utility said in a statement to ABC7, noting that the official cause of the blaze was unknown.

Asked about the Edison report, Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said he had not heard about it. "It wouldn't surprise me" if it turns out that winds caused equipment failure that sparked a fire, he said.

At a Monday morning press conference, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby responded to a question about a possible connection between the electrical outage and the fire.

"The cause of this incident is still under investigation," Osby said, "and once that becomes known we will share that with the public."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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