Lake Tahoe, CA/NV…What you need to know about utility companies cutting power during high fire danger. As we move into the warmest and driest days of summer and early fall, the threat of catastrophic wildfire increases throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin. High winds, low relative humidity, and dry vegetation are a dangerous combination. When dangerous fire weather is forecasted, the National Weather Service may issue a Red Flag Warning.
Red Flag Warnings put the community on high alert to dangerous fire weather conditions. When additional extreme hazard conditions exist in conjunction with Red Flag Warnings, Liberty Utilities and NV Energy may conduct proactive power shutoffs to the electrical grid for public safety.
Power lines caused the devastating and deadly “Camp Fire” in Paradise, California. Here at Lake Tahoe, a tree falling into powerlines caused the 2016 Emerald Fire. To mitigate the dangers of a fire due to electrical equipment, power companies will utilize targeted power shutoffs as a preventative measure that can save lives and protect public property.
Customers should prepare now for possible power shutoffs. Utility companies will attempt to give advance notice when power shutoffs are expected by contacting customers through their account information.
Residents, especially those who are medically dependent on power, should have a plan in place for power shutoffs. Utilities warn these may last for several hours but could last up to several days before power can be restored. Utility crews will need to complete a full inspection of their systems before power lines can be safely re-energized.
Residents should plan for power shutoffs now. Notify your utility company if you are medically dependent on your home’s power supply and make sure your account information is up-to-date. If possible, consider an alternative power supply like a generator or battery storage system. Be prepared for the possibility of wildfire by developing an evacuation plan, creating a go-bag, and keeping emergency numbers within reach. For information on emergency preparedness and power shutoffs visit tahoe.livingwithfire.info or prepareforpowerdown.com
About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team
The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, CAL FIRE, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and engaging the public in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.
For more information, visit tahoe.livingwithfire.info