Power Could Be Cut In Summit County Communities To Mitigate Fire Risk

Oct 21, 2020, 5:48 AM | Updated: 12:31 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Some residents in Summit County could face a power shut down to mitigate wildfire risk.

However, the chances are slim that the utility company will have to resort to shutting off the power.

Officials at Rocky Mountain Power said they are worried about the high winds mixed with dry conditions and the possibility that debris could get swept into power lines.

“Their concerned about the winds and the wildfires that happened in California, so they’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen here at Summit Park” said Brad Kuhn, one of about 2,000 Rocky Mountain customers who who may have their power cut.

Authorities said they may be forced to cut power in the Sundance and Summit Park communities, which would affect about 2,000 customers. If they decide to temporarily turn off the power, then it will be out Wednesday and Thursday.

The measure “would only be used as a last resort” to keep those communities safe, according to a statement from the power company.

“It probably won’t happen, but we want people to be prepared if we do,” said RMP spokesperson Spencer Hall. “This is all to protect the community.”

Rocky Mountain Power is encouraging customers to update their emergency contact information so the company can get the word out quickly if they need to.

Hall said officials have been working with the communities over the past year across the entire state in “high fire consequences areas.” Those are the areas where the community is up against a wild land area.

“We want to help those areas protect themselves from wildfire,” he said.

Power shutoffs are part of RMP’s comprehensive wildfire prevention plan, and they are designed to impact as few customers as possible.

“Turning off power during a Public Safety Power Shutoff is done to prevent a spark from happening when wind-blown or falling debris make contact with power lines,” according to the company. “For example, high winds can blow objects such as branches onto power lines. Once extreme weather conditions have subsided, Rocky Mountain Power will complete line inspections and re-energize the lines.”

Hall said the conditions that are fueling the nearby Fire Canyon Fire has officials worried, and they’re trying to be proactive.

“As we’ve seen in Provo Canyon, the conditions right now are very dangerous,” he said. “So when a fire starts, it moves quickly.”

Kuhn said he doesn’t mind, adding that he appreciates Rocky Mountain Power’s approach and assertiveness to keep the community informed.

“I have a Rocky Mountain Power app on my iPhone, so I get a notice whenever they’re going to shut off power,” he said. “… In fact, I had a text from Rocky Mountain Power yesterday on what was happening, and an email from them also.”

Customers with non-emergency questions about the potential shutoff can contact Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.

To ensure your contact information is correct, or for further information, visit rockymountainpower.net.

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Power Could Be Cut In Summit County Communities To Mitigate Fire Risk