Utilities will generally shut down power to an area during wildfires to help protect first responders and to prevent any downed lines from contributing to the spread of the fire.  PSE has expanded the scope of their preparation for such events by developing a protocol that may be utilized during extreme weather forecasts leading to potential wildfire conditions.  Policies like this are already in place in California and Oregon however this is new for Washington.  It provides guidelines for shutting power down before a fire starts.  With the planned outages, there would be advanced notice to help people plan for these possible events..

Apparently the wildfires that were started by power lines in Northern California, and the calamity in Lahaina have motivated forward-thinking utilities to plan ahead.

“This is a tool of last resort for us…making the very difficult decision to turn power off to make sure that community safety is number one.”

PSE is asking customers that rely on at-home medical equipment to update their accounts to add life support status.



9 KW Sunpower Array – Port Townsend – December 2023