Pacific Power releases emergency shut off map for fire season
Pacific Power is making a plan to shut down residents' power, if extreme levels of fire danger are reached. In the map shown below, the select areas would be affected are outlined in blue. This includes the cities of Shady Cove, Cave Junction, and Rogue River.
Spokesperson Drew Hanson said shutting off customers' power is a last resort, but necessary for safety.
"Public Safety Power Shutoff is a new tool in our comprehensive wildfire migration planning and these maps were developed to help out customers identify if they are in an area of high fire risk," Hanson said.
Resident Donna Love said she was surprised to see her town of Murphy in the shut off zone. Love said she has some concerns for her husband who relies on an oxygen tank and her neighbors.
"We, in the county, where most of these wildfires have taken place, rely on wells," Love said. "What are we going to do about water? What are we gonna do about sanitation? What about refrigerators? My husband's medication has to stay in the refrigerator."
Hanson said all residents should have a a plan in place for an outage for all seasons year round, especially those with electric or battery dependent needs. He also said those customers with our independent medical should self identify to the company, so that they can provide additional outreach in the event of an outage
"That would include having a two-week supply of shelf-stable food and water for all the people in your home," Hanson said. "Create an emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, solar phone chargers, even include first aid essentials."
Love said she does not think power causes wildfires, but instead people who make careless mistakes.
"The majority of wildfires don't happen because of anything related to power, people that aren't careful, people that are doing their cleanups of their own yards when they're not supposed to be doing it," Love said.
If a shut off does occur and wildfire conditions have declined, Pacific Power said their crews will patrol lines to inspect for damage and hanging debris. Power would then be restored after clearance and repairs, then customers would receive notification their power has been restored.