June 7, 2002 — A brush fire came dangerously close to Southern California’s Path 26 transmission line, California Independent System Operator (California ISO) announced Thursday.
The fire, extending 50,000 acres, was moving near two of the three lines that make up Path 26, Dow Jones reported Thursday. California ISO said it may have to ask some customers to cut back on their power use. Together, the lines carry a combined total of 1,500 MW.
The California ISO was ready to call upon its voluntary interruptible customers for load curtailment but the threat of blackouts passed by evening as the fire began to burn away from the lines.
Edison International (EIX) utility Southern California Edison also said it was on the verge of calling involuntary blackouts for 50,000 customers.
The direct-current part of the Pacific Intertie transmission system had to be closed Thursday because of the fires, Dow Jones reported.
If the Pacific Intertie and Path 26 lines both went down at once, SoCal Edison would need to go to rolling blackouts, California ISO reported.
As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday (PDT), the fire was still burning near the Path 26 lines, which were tripping on and off as smoke interfered sporadically with transmission.