A “red flag warning” at the Cal Fire Green Springs Station on May 28, 2022, warning of weather conditions that could lead to rapidly spreading wildfires.
Source – Pi.1415926535, CC SA 4.0.
Excessive heat and red flag warnings are in effect for much of California through Labor Day, as the state battles several wildfires and scorching heat.
Residents are being urged to conserve energy for the third day in a row to avoid straining the electrical grid. Temperature records are expected to be broken from San Diego and Los Angeles up to San Francisco over the Labor Day weekend.
“This kind of weather drives up energy demand, straining power generation equipment as people run their air conditioning,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a statement Thursday.
Since Wednesday, according to ABC News, “two new fires have started that threaten transmission lines that supply power to millions of homes,” his office said.
The California Independent System Operator, which manages about 80 percent of the state’s electrical grid, has issued a “flex alert” in California urging residents to curtail electricity use between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. through at least Friday.
The operator has also asked residents to avoid charging electric vehicles or using large appliances, it said.
“More Flex Alerts are likely to be issued through the holiday weekend, as excessive heat is forecast to blanket most of California,” the operator warned in a news release Wednesday.
Over 40 million people are under excessive heat alerts across seven states in the West through Labor Day weekend, including densely populated cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, reports CNN News.
California ISO President Elliot Mainzer said the grid experienced no “serious problems” on Thursday due to energy conservation efforts, as the prolonged heatwave pushed demand to the highest levels since September 2017.
“The hottest weather in this extended heatwave is still ahead of us,” Mainzer said in a video statement Friday. “Much of California will see record triple-digit temperatures with only moderate cooling at night, right through the Labor Day holiday weekend and into the middle of next week. So electricity conservation is going to be essential in keeping the power flowing to California without interruption.”