Manager’s Message – August 2021
Mitigating Wildfire Potential
Summer is in full swing, bringing lazy days at the lake, outdoor activities, backyard barbecues, and, unfortunately, wildfires.
In recent years, wildfires have emerged as a growing public safety concern throughout the West. Although wildfires have many causes, ranging from lightning to unattended campfire sparks, electric utilities are doing their part to help keep communities safe.
Due to the extreme fire danger in our region, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), our generation and transmission provider, has changed how it operates during times of red-flag weather warnings. When specific weather conditions exist—such as high winds, high temperatures, and low humidity—BPA may temporarily shut off power to reduce the chance of power lines starting fires.
If BPA enacts a Public Safety Power Shutoff in our area, Northern Lights, Inc. (NLI) members in the Priest River and Priest Lake areas will be affected. This region has been identified as one of BPA’s top areas for high wildfire risk. Other areas may briefly be affected during switching operations. Members will be notified if possible, and we will do everything we can to restore power as quickly as possible.
With our extremely dry conditions, keeping vegetation away from power lines continues to be a priority for NLI. We constantly trim trees and remove vegetation in utility easements to remove fuel for fires and keep trees and limbs from coming into contact with our lines to reduce fire risk. NLI continues to work closely with BPA to monitor weather conditions and ensure we are taking all possible precautions to avoid a wildfire, while maintaining our commitment to provide reliable electricity.
Enjoy the August weather and be safe. When we work together, we can keep the lights on and reduce our fire danger.