Emergency de-energization

De-energizations are one of many operational practices that Pacific Power may use to mitigate the risk of wildfire. Our de-energization protocols are updated regularly to help us deliver safe, reliable power across our service area during high wildfire risk conditions.  Pacific Power has the capability to enact an emergency de-energization across its entire service area.

When an active wildfire moves close enough to threaten our power equipment, we will begin monitoring the fire closely to evaluate its potential spread and impacts to our systems.  If the fire is moving too close to our equipment, we will carry out an emergency de-energization of our power lines.   This process helps us make the most effective decisions to avoid additional fire risk and helps protect first responders. 


Other types of de-energization

Enhanced Safety Settings 

We know that catastrophic fires occur almost entirely within a set of dangerous conditions, such as gusting winds and hot, dry weather.  Enhanced safety settings are put into place when fire risk conditions are elevated.  These settings are used with devices to de-energize the lines when a fault is detected, reducing the chance of a potential fire ignition. Customers are notified when their equipment has been placed on enhanced safety settings. 

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Public Safety Power Shutoff 

Pacific Power may de-energize power lines as a preventative measure during periods of the greatest wildfire risk, through a measure known as a Public Safety Power Shutoff.   If possible, Pacific Power sends notifications through phone, text and email, before, during and after a PSPS event to keep customers and stakeholders informed, depending on customers’ individual notification preferences.  The decision to implement a PSPS is based on extreme weather and area conditions, including high wind speeds, low humidity and critically dry fuels, and incorporates input from local public safety partners.

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