Five Things to Know for Wildfire Awareness Month

1 – Live Wildfire Ready.

Live Wildfire Ready is a statewide collaborative effort that shares simple, practical, low-cost actions residents can take to prepare their homes and property for wildfire. In addition to preparing one’s home, living wildfire-ready means being ready to evacuate during a fire. Inside, you’ll find great info on how to:

  • Explore wildfire risk in your community
  • Prepare your home and property for wildfire
  • Be ready to evacuate in case of wildfire

2 – Sign up for emergency alerts.

Our counties’ Public Safety agencies have all enabled Everbridge, a text message emergency notification system that provides essential information quickly in a variety of situations, such as fires, severe weather, floods, unexpected road closures, or evacuation of buildings or neighborhoods. This is one of the best and fastest ways to stay informed of potentially dangerous events in your area.

Tip – after signing up, you can go back into your account and edit your subscriptions based on alert type and area.

Make sure we have the right contact info for you, too. You can add and edit your contact information in SmartHub or give us a call at 970.945.5491 and we’ll happily update it for you.

3 – Our system has safety measures in place for days with high fire risk.

When the National Weather Service issues a “Red Flag Warning” anywhere in our service territory, we modify our system operations to reduce the chance of an electrical fire in that part of our territory. Also known as “fast tripping”, this more sensitive setting will cut power at line relays faster than normal settings.

These higher sensitivity settings decrease the risk of wildfire ignition in the event a tree or debris falls on the power line.

These more sensitive settings are in place for the safety of our members and communities, but they also increase the potential for members to experience short “blinks” in their power. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding on these high-risk days.

4 – New inspection technologies help us prevent wildfires. 

We’ve recently implemented several new technologies to help minimize the possibility that the electric system will ignite a fire. These line inspection tools help us be more efficient and proactive in our inspection and maintenance programs.

  • Drone inspections allow our operations crews to safely and efficiently view top-down angles of powerlines, which lets us see broken equipment that might not be visible from the ground.
  • Multispectral imagery, which we have started to trial this year, helps us ascertain tree health and scans for things like tree decay and fallen trees. This allows our crews to prioritize vulnerable areas of our system for vegetation management work.
  • LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is helping us create a spatially accurate digital model of our system so we can work more efficiently and keep more accurate records of our work, and have a better overall awareness of our system.
  • Infrared Thermography scans help us spot “hot spots” on our line that are otherwise invisible to the human eye.

5 – For safety reasons, please help us keep a 10+foot clearance in the path of power lines. 

Fire in the path of a power line can keep entire communities without power for extended periods of time. We greatly appreciate our members’ help in keeping our right-of-ways clear of all vegetation and flammable debris (including stacks of firewood).

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