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Oregon-Northwest

Washington utility has no plans to shut off power for fires

MGN

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state utility company says it has no plans to shut off power to prevent wildfires this summer after a blaze that destroyed more than 100 homes last year was sparked by a tree falling onto the utility’s lines.

Some electric companies have temporarily cut power to parts of their service areas during windstorms in recent years in a bid to prevent fires.

But Avista Utilities representative Dave James says power shutdowns for public safety are not an option for the the utility at this point.

During last year’s Labor Day fires, a tree fell into Avista power lines and ignited a fire that destroyed much of Malden, Washington.

Fire Alert / News

The Associated Press

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