Over the last several years, we've had our share of wildfires in Eastern Washington. Some of them are a little too close to home for me specifically. (One year it was a near thing.) So yes, we are very conscious of the possibility of brush fires and wildfires in Eastern Washington, but this is starting to turn into a concern for people in Western Washington. 

Hillside on Fire with Bright Flames and Black Smoke during California Woolsey Fire
Erin Donalson
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According to FOX13seattle.com,
As wildfire season approaches in western Washington, Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
says it has a plan in place to ensure the safety of communities with high-risk wildfire conditions. The utility says this fire season, they may use a tool to temporarily shut off power lines to help prevent wildfires from starting.” 

This is a strategy that some utilities in California have used for years, and it sounds like a good idea for Western Washington. The utility is calling it a “public safety power shutoff”, and it's a last resort in case of Wildfire. After one of these emergency outlets. Outages. It could take several days for power to be restored because they will need to send crews to inspect the power lines to make sure they are safe to energize. 

transformer on a pole and a tree laying across power lines over a road after Hurricane moved across
photovs
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Power lines in windy conditions can spark wildfires. A public safety power shut off could occur anywhere in Puget Sound Energies service area if the conditions are bad enough and that would include Kittitas County and Cle Ellum. Usually a combination of strong winds, very dry vegetation and low humidity. 

PSE could shut off power for areas with high wildfire risk (fox13seattle.com) 

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