Fire Protection Systems
Chelan PUD has electrical protective devices throughout our system that purposefully de-energize the line in the event of a fault for your safety. These systems also help to reduce the risk of fire ignition from power lines. As part of the wildfire mitigation program, we have implemented an operational change in some areas that have been identified as high risk to prevent our system from causing sparks during wildfire season.
Under typical operations, whenever there’s a disruption in the line – say a branch or a squirrel – the power will blink for a second then automatically restore. During fire season, in some areas of our service territory, we’re operating under different protocols to reduce the risk of fire. Instead of a blink, a disruption along the lines (transmission and distribution) will result in a power outage. Then our crews will investigate the line and restore power when it’s safe to do so.
This operational change may result in more power outages, or longer outages. We strive to balance reliability and safety in designing our system, but we emphasize safety above all else.
Fire Safety Outage Management
A fire safety outage is a proactive power outage designed to prevent wildfire ignitions from utility infrastructure during very high winds and dry conditions. We know the devastation that wildfires can have on a community, and we also recognize the impact on our customers when power is out. The decision to use a fire safety outage is one we take very seriously and is a rarely used measure of last resort. Learn more about fire safety outages here