by Eugene Water and Electric Board
Even in historically wet, mild Oregon, summers are getting hotter and drier, with longer wildfire seasons. The overall risk of wildfires is growing. We are increasing our efforts to maintain and operate our electrical lines and equipment to minimize wildfire risk and keep our customers and community safe.
Current forecasts show dangerous wildfire conditions and high, gusty winds Friday Sept. 9 through the afternoon of Saturday Sept. 10.
We will be performing a public safety power shutoff beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. Power outages will impact customers east of Hayden Bridge up to Vida, including the following areas:
- Camp Creek and Upper Camp Creek
- Cedar Flats
See a map of the Public Safety Power Shut-off area. Note that the area identified in Southeast Eugene from Tugman Park to Spencer Butte is not part of the power shut-off area, but is identified as a “higher-risk service area.”
EWEB has made the decision to de-energize the power due to forecast high, gusty easterly winds during extreme wildfire conditions beginning in some areas early Friday morning through Saturday.
EWEB will restore service as quickly and safely as possible once weather conditions allow. Crews will actively patrol lines and remove debris and make repairs if needed. Once that work is complete, EWEB will restore service.
Weather-related outages could happen outside of Public Safety Power Shutoff areas. Currently all EWEB high-risk fire zones customers are in Protective Settings operating mode and should be prepared for an outage. Protective Settings modify high-voltage electric switches and relays to make them more sensitive to faults.
The best time to prepare is now. Check that your outage kit is stocked and ready. Things to include are:
- Flashlights or headlamps
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio, fans
- Extra batteries
- Car chargers for cell phones and electronic devices
- Bottled water for people and animals (if you rely on electricity to pump water)
- Frozen cold packs or water frozen in bags or plastic bottles (keep ready in your freezer)
- Protective Setting Mode activated for High Risk Fire Zone circuits
As a safety precaution, EWEB has placed our electric equipment in the High Risk Fire Zones in Protective Settings mode for the remainder of the fire season. Although Protective Settings may create a higher likelihood of power outages, it will reduce the risk of fire ignition or equipment damage.
Protective Settings modify high-voltage electric switches and relays to make them more sensitive to faults. Just like a circuit breaker in your home, the switch senses when trouble occurs – such as a tree branch falling on the line – and instantaneously shuts off the power.
If the power trips off, EWEB will not re-energize the line until operators have patrolled the area to make sure it’s safe to do so. Any power outages that do occur while in Protective Settings Mode may take longer to restore due to these extra steps.
Report any power outages via our outage reporting line at 1-844-484-2300.