Skip to Content

Pacific Power says wildfire season outlook is warmer, drier than normal, outlines mitigation efforts, customer tips

Chester Lampkin of Pacific Power speaks Wednesday at Portland news conference on Wildfire Awareness Month, preparations
Pacific Power
Chester Lampkin of Pacific Power speaks Wednesday at Portland news conference on Wildfire Awareness Month, preparations

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – To recognize National Wildfire Awareness Month, Pacific Power is encouraging Oregonians to prepare for fire season. Fire weather conditions, such as severe drought combined with summer windstorms or active wildfires, could lead to safety-related power outages. 

Long-term forecasts are indicating 2024 will have a warmer and drier than normal summer, with the active portion of fire season arriving in June in most areas, and the peak of fire season in August and September, the utility said at a news conference Wednesday with other regional utilities.

Pacific Power says it is leading the way in wildfire mitigation, investing close to $70 million over the past five years in hardening its grid in Oregon, and the company is working hard to protect customers from the risks associated with wildfires. The company’s mitigation practices are focused on three main areas:

  • Situational Awareness: Risk modeling that incorporates 30 years of data to help us assess potential wildfire impacts in different parts of our service area, while daily risk forecasting – through a team of meteorologists using an advanced network of 454 weather stations – provides daily wildfire monitoring and modeling for the states we serve. 
  • Operational Practices: By employing sensitive protective settings on powerlines when elevated fire risk conditions exist, conducting enhanced vegetation management, having the ability to conduct a Public Safety Power Shutoff anywhere across our service area and having the ability to do an emergency de-energization when a wildfire encroaches near our assets, we have practices in place to help keep our customers and communities safe.
    • System Hardening: Investing millions of dollars in infrastructure enhancements that reduce and mitigate risk, concentrated in geographic areas at greatest risk of wildfires. This includes rebuilding lines using covered conductor and more sensitive equipment that can de-energize power lines within fractions of a second when interference is detected.

“Providing safe, reliable electricity is our number one priority,” said Allen Berreth, Pacific Power’s vice president of transmission and distribution operations. “Our heavy investments in wildfire mitigation are driven by our goal of keeping the communities we serve safe.”

Even as electric providers partner with federal, state and local agencies and Tribes to plan and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season, preparedness is a year-round effort, and everyone has a part to play when it comes to readiness.

Resources are available to help every Oregonian take steps to plan ahead and be ready for wildfire-related power outages. At, Oregonians can find tips to stay informed, make a plan and trim trees and plants to create defensible spaces around their homes to help slow the spread of wildfire. 

Stay in the know

Customers can take steps to make sure they receive wildfire-related information.

  • Contact Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070 or log in to their account at and make sure all contact information is current. That way, the company can send alerts and messages.
  • In addition to having a back-up plan with medical providers, customers who rely on electricity to store medication or operate medical equipment at home should enroll in Pacific Power’s Medical Certificate Program to receive proactive communications about outages.
  • Visit Oregon Alert to find your local alert system. Provide current contact details and sign up for wildfire-related alerts. 

Make an outage kit

  • Prepare a home outage kit in the event wildfire leads to a power outage. Be sure to include shelf-stable food; water for people, pets and livestock; necessary medications; flashlights; batteries; and solar or car chargers for electric devices. Keep ice packs or frozen water in the freezer to help keep food cold until ice is available. 
  • Businesses should prepare to minimize disruptions, keep employees safe and protect equipment. Outage kits should include flashlights or camp lights for all areas, including restrooms, battery-powered or hand-crank radios for information; battery-powered fans; extra batteries; car chargers for cell phones and electric devices; bottled water; and emergency phone numbers.

Have a plan 

  • Consider options to relocate with a friend, family member or shelter, especially if a medical condition, medication or equipment requires electricity. 
  • Businesses should communicate their outage response plans to key employees, plan for workarounds to computers and cash registers, and make a plan to bypass electronic door locks. 
  • Homes and businesses should consider buying backup generators. Information on how to operate them safely is available on Pacific Power’s website.
  • Make a plan for watering livestock if well pumps are without power.
  • Know how to open and close electric garage doors and security gates. 
  • Learn how to protect home and business electronics and appliances against data loss and surge damage when power is restored.

Pacific Power customers can visit for resources and information including an outage preparation checklist for residential and business customers, an interactive map outlining potential public safety power shutoff areas and its 2024 Wildfire Mitigation Plan.   

About Pacific Power  

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 800,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, natural gas, coal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit     

Article Topic Follows: Business

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content