Big Bear, CA – Wildfires are more destructive and deadlier than in the past, and the threat of wildfires is more prevalent throughout the state and calendar year. The overall pattern shows the emerging effects of climate change in our daily lives.
Throughout the year, the California Public Utilities Commission works with CalFire and the Office of Emergency Services to reduce the risk of utility infrastructure starting wildfires, to strengthen utility preparedness for emergencies, and to improve utility services during and after emergencies. Interagency coordination, and cooperation from the utilities is essential when the threat of wildfires is high.
The State’s investor-owned electric utilities, notably Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), may shut off electric power, referred to as “de-energization” or Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS), to protect public safety under California law.
Caltrans is advising motorists that signalization on state routes throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties may be affected during the power outages. When power goes out, traffic signals will start flashing and may even go dark after the outage. The signals will continue to cycle regularly for approximately three hours after the outage and will then cycle to “red-flash” for another three to six hours. If the outage remains in place for more than six hours the signals will then go to “blackout” mode.
Motorists are advised that if a traffic signal is not working and no lights are showing on the signal (blackout mode), you must treat it as a four-way stop. Please use extreme caution and patience while you are driving during the possible power outages and pay close attention to other motorists and their movements.