Pacific Power preps for fire season

PORTLAND, Ore. – The electrical utility company providing power to southern Oregon said they’re adjusting their infrastructure to be better prepared for the increasing threat of wildfires.

Pacific Power Senior Vice President Scott Bolton said his company is working with local emergency responders, the Oregon Department of Forestry and other community leaders across Oregon to expand their emergency response plans in anticipation of the 2019 fire season.

The new actions taken by Pacific Power include the following, according to Bolton:

  • We are enhancing vegetation inspections and vegetation clearance around our power lines or poles, increasing facilities inspections, making investments to improve equipment resiliency and fire-proofing, installing local weather stations, and training and equipping our field crews for wildfire suppression.
  • For areas at a higher risk of fast-spreading wildfires, we are establishing a new fire prevention measure called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. A Public Safety Power Shutoff is a new measure designed to help keep people and communities in high-risk areas safe, by proactively shutting off power during extreme and dangerous weather conditions that can result in catastrophic wildfires. This measure would only be taken as a last resort to help ensure customer and community safety.
  • Pacific Power is working with local governments and emergency services agencies to update them on the conditions when this protocol would be used and seek their input on coordination should we need to deploy a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
  • Pacific Power is also launching a public wildfire education and outreach campaign starting June 24 to share wildfire safety and prevention tips and to inform customers of the company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff measure. This will include public information workshops for communities in high-risk areas.

Customers are encouraged to do their part by keeping a defensible space around their homes and by being prepared with emergency plans and supplies.
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