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Western Oregon adopts Calif fire tactic, shuts power amid face critical fire danger

Utility providers cut power to a portion of their customers in an effort to put out the severe wildfire conditions that have spread over Western Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The action was taken as a Red Flag warning for western Oregon and Washington went into force on Friday morning and was expected to last until late Saturday night.

All ten of Portland General Electric’s high-fire-risk locations, as well as Silver Falls and Silverdale/Corbett, implemented a “Public Safety Power Shutoff.” At around 2 p.m., 30,000 consumers, according to them, were without power.

Oregon Fire Map

Tens of thousands may experience power outages

According to OregonLive.com, utility companies implement a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” when conditions, such as heavy wind, are predicted in regions with a more serious danger of wildfires. According to the website, “Electricity is turned off in particular locations to help lessen the likelihood that downed power lines could start or intensify a wildfire.”

By late Friday, it was anticipated that more than 40,000 customers, including those in Portland’s affluent West Hills district, would lose power as a result of scheduled shutoffs due to certain regions being slammed by winds of up to 60 mph and temperatures that were in the high 80s to low 90s.

Kirsten Cuppenbender, a logistics lead with Multnomah County Emergency Management, said, “We acquired a couple of pallets of water, which we can replace on a regular basis if needed.”

Watch out for scam callers during power outages that affect public safety

PGE provided numerous suggestions to assist ratepayers to recognize potential frauds in a fraud notice earlier this year.

  • If a caller threatens to instantly turn off the power, that’s a warning sign because PGE always offers several chances for payment before discontinuing service.
  • Be wary if you hear numbers in that area, especially if you don’t believe you owe that much money. Scammers sometimes demand sums of slightly under $500 or $1,000.
  • Scammers frequently demand payment through prepaid cards or apps like Zelle or Venmo. None of those are means of payment that PGE will ever request.
  • Even if your caller ID reads PGE or Portland General Electric, proceed with caution. It might still be a ruse.

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