Editor\u2019s note: In this issue we launch a new summer \u201cpower watch,\u201d highlighting the week\u2019s overall energy scenario, including peak demand, major outages, and fires. Unlike on the East Coast, which was hit with record heat earlier this week, California\u2019s grid was stable in spite of high temperatures in certain regions and some unplanned outages. A major power concern is the state\u2019s dry condition and the early start to the fire season. The \u201cHumboldt\u201d fire in Northern California forced two 115 kV lines out of service June 12. About 20 MW of load was lost, causing blackouts in the city of Paradise. The blaze also threatens two of the three lines on the California-Oregon intertie, according to the California Independent System Operator. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directed additional resources be spent fighting California\u2019s early wildfires this week. \u201cAs numerous wildfires burn across the state, I am directing a coordinated state effort to battle these blazes,\u201d he stated June 11. This week there were also fires in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma counties and north of Sacramento in Lincoln. Peak power consumption at the three major grid operators--the California Independent System Operator, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District--remained at manageable levels before press time in spite of some unforeseen outages. Friday, June 13, however, was predicted to be very hot in many parts of the state. The highest peak for CAISO this week occurred June 9, when power demand hit 37,800 MW. That is well below the record breaking peak of nearly 50,270 on July 24, 2006. This week, power prices temporarily hit the grid operator\u2019s price cap of $400 MWh. The high rate is usually driven by the call for pricey power from peaking units. All week conservation was recommended but not considered urgent. SMUD\u2019s highest energy use also occurred late in the afternoon of June 9. Usage peaked at 2,306 MW, well below the record-breaking demand of 3,299 MW on July 24, two years ago, which followed almost two weeks of triple-digit temperatures and warm nights. Chris Capra, SMUD spokesperson, said the muni is confident it will meet peak power demand throughout the summer because of sufficient supplies. A serious wildfire would throw a wrench into the scheme of things, however. Nearly a week after an unplanned unit outage hit Southern California Edison\u2019s 1,070-MW unit at San Onofre, the nuclear plant was back on line. On June 10, five days after the shut down, it was operating at 19 percent, according to Edison\u2019s report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The following day it was running full tilt. Pacific Gas & Electric\u2019s 440 MW Helms pumped storage plant also suffered an unplanned shut down this week. The other two units at the 1,212 MW plant, which pump water uphill during off peak hours and release it a peak times, were reported to be on-line June 10. The drought also made headlines. In an effort to aid Central Valley agriculture in the face of supply reductions, the governor asked the federal government to be able to \u201cwheel\u201d federal water resources to growers June 12. Lester Snow, Department of Water Resources director, said that the state would also pump ground water to flow to farmers. Snow did not address the cost of energy for pumping water out of the ground and pumping water through the aqueduct, or the cost of consuming mostly fresh water in the Delta for power plant cooling. A big part of this move is to protect endangered fish in the overused Delta, where water is drawn for irrigation and drinking and for power plant cooling. A court decision restricted water use in the Delta earlier this year. While Snow noted that there may be an economic hit to farmers of about $150 million due to this year\u2019s drought, he did not address the balance of that cost versus farm subsidies.