SPOKANE, Wash. – In response to dry summer conditions and increasing wildfire danger in the region, Avista is undertaking temporary changes to power line operations in its Washington and Idaho service area.
These temporary changes are being made to decrease the potential for wildfires that could occur when re-energizing a power line. In most cases, lines located in rural and/or forested areas are normally re-energized automatically. However, during the current dry weather conditions, Avista’s line personnel will physically patrol an outage area before a line is placed back into service. This can require more time to restore service but decreases the potential fire danger.
They call this dry-land mode and have implemented this system for over 20 years. Since 2020, Avista has enhanced the dry land system by pairing it with a fire-weather monitoring system. This allows system operators and field managers to make more informed decisions to reduce fire risk.
This practice is part of Avista’s Wildfire Resiliency Plan. Building on prevention and response strategies that have been in place many years, Avista has committed to a comprehensive 10- year Wildfire Resiliency Plan that improves defense strategies such as ‘hardening’ powerlines and removing dead trees near lines. Learn more at myavista.com/wildfire.
Avista will return the distribution system to normal as soon as weather permits and fire potential decreases. Avista appreciates the patience and understanding of its customers during this time.