December Fire Updates
Last Updated on 12/18/17 at 3 p.m.
Over the past week, SoCalGas has been actively monitoring several fires affecting customers in our service territory. More than 350 SoCalGas field representatives have been working alongside firefighters in support of public safety. Once communities are declared safe for re-entry by first-responders, SoCalGas stands ready to quickly and safely restore service to homes directly affected by the fires.
- The Thomas fire that began in Ventura County has burned about 242,500 acres. The fire has moved into parts of Santa Barbara County. New evacuation orders have been issued and many evacuation orders issued last week remain in place.
- The Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County are almost completely contained and evacuation orders have been lifted. SoCalGas representatives will be stationed at the County’s Joint Local Assistance Center to answer customer questions.
On Impacts to SoCalGas’ Natural Gas System:
- There have been no significant impacts to the natural gas system in SoCalGas’ service territory.
- Our crews have been working in support of public safety and first responders. As a precautionary measure to enhance public safety, in some very localized areas we isolated our system at individual homes or in neighborhoods impacted by the fires.
- In Ventura County, SoCalGas crews stopped the flow of gas into some of the communities affected by the fires at the request of first responders. Over the weekend, crews worked in impacted communities – Skyline, Hidden Valley, Ondulando and Clearpoint - to restore natural gas services for customers who were coming home. Starting Monday, December 18, 2017, customers who still need gas service restored should call us at 1-877-238-0092 to receive priority appointments. Customers must be present in order for us to safely restore service.
- Fortunately, as we’ve seen in other natural disasters across the country, the natural gas system is resilient during fires and other emergencies.
- We stand ready to quickly and safely restore service to homes directly affected by the fires.
- In areas where gas is turned off as a precaution, SoCalGas crews will begin restoring service as soon as first responders determine it is safe to do so.
- For safety reasons, customers should not attempt to restore gas service themselves. Only a SoCalGas technician or certified contractors are authorized to operate the natural gas service shut-off valve.
- We urge customers to continue to report suspected gas leaks by calling 1-800-427-2200 or 911 after evacuating the immediate area.
Information on the Restoration of Natural Gas Service
- We know being without natural gas service may be difficult, especially when temperatures are low, and we are diligently working to restore service safely and as quickly as possible.
- SoCalGas crews are working with fire officials and have identified neighborhoods where natural gas service can safely be restored. Customers must be present when their gas service is restored.
- Step 1: crews must individually disconnect natural gas service lines to several hundred structures that suffered fire damage before service can be restored to other customers in areas experiencing outages. This disconnect work has already been performed.
- Step 2: once crews finish disconnecting the service lines to the damaged properties, the pipeline supplying natural gas to the area can be re-pressurized. This work is underway.
- Step 3: once evacuation orders have been lifted and residents are allowed to return to their homes, SoCalGas technicians can begin the process of restarting natural gas service to individual residences. SoCalGas is ready to deploy expanded work crews for extended work shifts to prioritize the completion of this work. We expect technicians to begin this work within a day of the evacuation orders being lifted.
- Individual customers will need to be home during this process to allow SoCalGas access to perform an in-home safety check. We estimate that it could take up to four days for the entire area to be restored. Each residence could take 1-2 hours to restore, depending on the type and number of appliances in the home.
- For safety reasons, customers should not attempt to restore gas service themselves. Only SoCalGas technicians and certified contractors are authorized to operate the natural gas service shut-off valve.
- SoCalGas will attempt to contact customers in advance via an automated telephone call to inform them when the restarts to individual residences are expected to begin.
- If residents are not home at the time technicians attempt to restore service, written instructions for calling SoCalGas customer service will be left behind.
- Customers with questions can call SoCalGas Customer Service at 1-877-238-0092.