MOUNT HOOD, OR (KPTV) - Portland General Electric is planning for the possibility of temporarily shutting off power to customers near Mount Hood due to the threat of wildfires.
On Sunday, PGE stated that no final decision had been made to shut off the power to a “limited, high-risk area” along Highway 26 near Mount Hood, but customers in that area are receiving notifications that it is possible over the next few days.
Weather conditions are expected to create extreme fire danger around Oregon this week.
A PGE spokeswoman said the utility has never before shut off power as a preemptive move to avoid potential wildfire.
From snowstorms to wildfires to power outages, Shawn Burns, manager at Ace Hardware, has been helping people prepare for it all, but the possibility of a planned power shut off is something new.
Burns says he understands the reason why.
"Yeah, a 60 mile per hour gust could knock a line down and start a fire and it could all come down," Burns said.
If the lights do go out, Burns suggests having a few things on hand.
"Flashlights, lanterns, kerosene for lanterns, so if you batteries run out," Burns said. "We have plumber candles, little buckets of them."
The area in question is from Brightwood to Government Camp, because it’s considered more vulnerable to wildfire and harder to protect. A map is available at PortlandGeneral.com/wildfire.
“PGE will only do this if it’s necessary to protect lives and property in the communities we serve and would implement a public safety power outage in that limited high-risk area for as short a period as possible. We’re working closely with local emergency managers to create as little disruption to customers, residents and visitors to the area as possible,” according to a statement from PGE.
The Oregon Department of Forestry reported Sunday that state-managed forests in the northwest portion of the state would have additional restrictions starting Monday morning due to extreme fire danger.
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.