Manager’s Message — July 2019
Legislative Visits and Fire Prevention
Dear Co-op Community Members:
In late April, Lane Electric Co-op directors and I joined other electric cooperative representatives from around the state and throughout the nation in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues important to us with our federal legislators. These annual face-to-face visits are an important part of our efforts to continue providing you with safe, reliable and affordable service, and to maintaining local control of our operations.
We had a lot to talk about this year. We asked for help implementing legislation passed last year regarding maintaining our right-of-way across federal lands to ensure rules are coordinated with all of the affected federal agencies. We asked legislators to correct an unintended consequence of tax reform legislation passed last year that treats federal disaster relief payments as nonmember income that may endanger our federal tax-exempt status. We also thanked our legislators for firmly rejecting President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to sell the transmission assets of the Bonneville Power Administration.
Wildfire Risks High
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, residents along the West Coast should be ready for another busy fire season. The agency reports above normal potential for significant wildfires west of the Cascade crest in Washington and Oregon through August.
Fallen timber still on the ground following February’s snowstorm, coupled with sunny and warm days the last two months, has created more fuel and a hazardous situation. It’s getting drier and hotter by the day. Our service territory already experienced two fires in the past two months. As of June 14, outdoor burning in Lane County is prohibited until at least October 1.
Fire Safety Starts With Prevention
We are doing what we can to mitigate fires on our system, including changing our reclosers from three-shot to single-shot. Reclosers are circuit breakers equipped with a mechanism that can automatically close the breaker after it has been opened due to a fault, such as a tree limb falling on it. Single-shot means it will close the breaker—cutting power—after the first fault, not the third.
While this can reduce the risk of fire, it also means more outages and possibly more prolonged outages as crews patrol the entire line to find where the fault occurred. We are taking this extra precaution for your safety. As always, if you see potential fire hazards relating to utility wire, please give us a call.
To reduce risk of fire around your home, please visit www.firewise.org. If you plan to use fireworks to celebrate Independence Day, please take extra
Let’s keep Oregon green for generations to come. Make fire prevention a priority in your life by following rules and regulations and being good stewards of the land.