Manager’s Message – July 2021
Wildfire Mitigation Efforts
Occasionally—and especially during wildfire mitigation efforts—the isolation or turning off of electric circuits may be necessary. Northern Wasco County PUD’s practice is to only do so when other options have been eliminated and in close coordination with appropriate emergency personnel and agencies.
We intend to always provide the same 99.99% reliability we are all accustomed to, but recognize emergencies happen. A recent example was last month when a wildfire near Interstate 84 rapidly burned through parts of our community and service territory. To reduce potential exacerbation of the hazards, we de-energized various circuits while fire crews were in the area, and specifically before a service line crossing over the highway fell due to the utility pole burning through. See the photo.
As a part of normal business, we perform preventive maintenance work throughout the year to mitigate these occurrences. Some examples include our vegetation management program, system inspection, and maintenance, pole testing and treatment, system hardening—steel poles are one example—advanced system protection devices, training, and equipment for personnel.
Please make sure we have your current contact information so we can continue to improve our use of mass-notification systems. Also, please sign up with the Wasco County Citizen Alert Emergency Notification System. The alerts received during the wildfire were integral to keeping community members safe. We have the link on our website under operations and safety.
More information on wildfire mitigation plans, vegetation management, and other related topics will be shared at the July and August meetings of the board of directors. These are public meetings, so please participate as your time and interest allow.