When Santa Ana winds pick up, Southern California Edison will now have the option to flip the switch, cutting all power to Malibu. Malibu and other high-fire risk areas in California will have their electricity turned off when dangerous Santa Ana winds approach, under a decision made by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week in San Francisco.
The CPUC turned aside requests from the City of Malibu and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The city had asked for power to vet the decision-making process, and for generators or batteries to be required at crucial installations.
The city complained its emergency warning systems will be useless without the internet, cellular and FM radio communications that will die without Southern California Edison power
“If Edison shuts off the power preemptively … it could create an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation in our community,” wrote City Manager Reva Feldman, in a letter.