Santa Ana winds have roared to life across inland San Diego County, reaching 88 mph nearly Thursday at Sill Hill in Descanso and 60 mph or higher along eastern Interstate 8.
SDG&E says power has been disrupted to about 2,400 customers across a wide area of East County, including parts of Descanso, Pine Hills, and Buckman Springs.
The dry, snappy winds have hit64 mph at Boulder Hills, 61 mph at Crestwood and 55 mph at Sunrise Highway.
The winds are causing driving hazards on Interstate 8, raising the prospect for wildfires across a landscape that has little rain for month. So far, there have been no big fires Thurday in San Diego County. But a tiny wildfire erupted in Mission Valley, near Hotel Circle, shortly before 6 a.m. on Thursday. But it was quickly extinguished.
San Diego Gas & Electric notified about 170,000 of its customers on Wednesday that they could lose power due to the winds, which will last into late Thursday.
By 6 a.m. Thursday, the utility had turned off the power to nearly 2,400 customers in parts of East County and North County. The utility placed a generator in Julian to cutdown on the number of potential outages.
Through early Thursday, the outages have affected residents in West Descanso, Viejas, Boulder Creek, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Jucumba, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs and Morena Valley, Santa Ysabel, Wynola, and Pine Hills, Valley Center, Rincon, Pauma Valley, La Jolla Indian Reservation, Hellhole Canyon, La Jolla Indian Reservation, Mesa Grande, Santa Ysabel, Palomar Mountain and Lake Henshaw. The outages, which will last until at least 4 p.m. Thursday, currently affect about 800 customers.