SoCal Edison starts Operation Santa Ana to reduce amount of branches near electric wires

HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. (KABC) -- The Holy Fire in the Inland Empire and the Woolsey Fire near Malibu are just a few wildfires that rocked Southern California last year, and now SoCal Edison is trying to mitigate those fire worries with Operation Santa Ana.

"SCE's vegetation management team named the program after Southern California's Santa Ana winds that typically occur September through May," said Don Daigler, SCE Director of Business Resiliency. "These severe winds combined with low relative humidity and hot temperatures creates extreme weather conditions and increases fire risk."

Operation Santa Ana will examine 900,000 trees across 50,000 acres of SoCal Edison's service area that are considered to be a high risk threat to wildfires, however, a rainy start to 2019 decreased the wildfire risk and is instead giving SoCal Edison workers a different problem to cut through.

"It has created greater growth in the trees, so the amount of foliage that we are removing from the trees is greater than in the past, but as far as what we do it's the same thing, patrol year round and mitigate year round," said David Guzman, SCE Vegetation Manager.

It is a good lesson for homeowners.

"A lot of greenery on the property, you know just keep your plants clean, make sure there's not too much dry stuff around it," said homeowner Samuel Arellano.

Tree branches around Southern California pose a fire threat when they fall and possibly hit active power lines.

"When we get better clearances from the power lines, from the vegetation to the power lines, you have a safer chance that if a branch were to fall, it would not fall on the lines, cause a spark and probably start a fire," Guzman said.
Related topics:
wildfirefirefighters
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.