Bird causes power outage for 3,000 in western Malibu

Update, 2:30 p.m.: More than 3,000 Edison customers in western Malibu have a bird to thank for an hourlong power outage on Wednesday afternoon. 

An unidentified species of bird apparently came into contact with a major-serving live wire just before 1 p.m. and caused 3,152 customers to lose their lights, according to Southern California Edison spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez Casanova. The bird did not survive its encounter with Edison’s equipment.

One bird has the capacity to do a lot of damage if it strikes a major wire such as the one it hit near Heathercliff Road and Dume Drive, Edison spokesman Mark Olson said. 

“Occasionally they get in the wrong place and contact two live wires or one live wire and one piece of equipment,” Olson said. “This one contacted the live wire and something else on the pole that created a path for power to travel.” 

Power was restored to all those affected by 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The outage affected customers along Pacific Coast Highway between Heathercliff and Latigo Canyon roads.


Early reports indicated 2,000 customers had lost power, but Casanova confirmed the number to be higher. Another report that a truck may have struck equipment in the area turned out to be false, Olson said.

Original post, 1:30 p.m.: Approximately 2,000 customers in western Malibu lost power just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to Southern California Edison spokesman Mark Olson. 

The outage affects customers along Pacific Coast Highway between Heathercliff and Latigo Canyon roads and also extends up Latigo.

Olson said there are unconfirmed reports that “a truck hit something in the area.”

There is no time frame for when power will be restored as crews are still determining what caused the power to go out. 

“Normally within an hour we should start to bring power up in stages but it depends on what [the troubleshooters] find,” Olson said. 

Check back as more information becomes available. 

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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