Holiday Farm Fire
Announcements and Information
Community Update – 3.19.21
Since restoring power to all remaining homes in the Down River and Upriver service areas in October of 2020, we are now focused on rebuilding the remainder of our infrastructure that was damaged by the wildfire. To accomplish this, we are actively applying for FEMA grants and have enlisted a local engineering firm to create a plan for building an even more resilient system. This includes moving as much of the system underground as is feasible to mitigate the risks above ground power lines are susceptible to such as wind, snow and ice.
While we are eager to start the rebuilding process, we are committed to doing so as effectively as possible. Applying for grants can be incredibly tedious and time consuming, but we reassure our members that we are taking the proper steps to secure funding so our community is rebuilt stronger than before. It’s important to note, that these rebuilding efforts will come at no cost to our members. We will continue to share more details about the plan, including rebuilding timelines as they are available.
Additionally, we are working diligently to remove damaged equipment and are actively collecting information to support this effort. Residents in affected areas may see crews surveying damaged equipment, including taking photos and documenting GPS locations. This documentation is an important step in the removal process. Residents will also start to see more equipment removal in the coming weeks.
There are temporary power options available for those who have lost their home and are beginning rebuilding efforts. Please see the FAQ below to answer any questions you may have. If you are using a backup generator, we urge you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions of your generator carefully. We’ve provided some safety tips here and encourage you to review them.
Lane Electric is also fully committed to understanding the cause of the fire, which is currently under investigation. We are cooperating with federal and state authorities and are unaware that any of our assets contributed to the cause of the fire at this time. A thorough investigation will take time and patience.
We appreciate our members’ patience and support as we work towards rebuilding our community. As always, please stay safe and do not approach down power lines. Always assume they are energized.
Down River, Western Service Area:
The Down River area was significantly damaged, in what was the worst fire season on record.
- We made significant progress in the Down River area and have restored power to all standing homes.
- We are now focused on repairing or rebuilding infrastructure to support the rebuilding process of homes that were damaged in the wildfire. This is a house-by-house process and takes time due to the extensive damage from the wildfire. This work will occur over the weeks and months ahead.
- Crews have installed temporary power to homes. They are also removing hazard trees, downed lines and destroyed equipment.
- We have created a new FAQ resource below for members who have questions about their rebuilding process and/or temporary power.
Upriver, Eastern Service Area:
- We have restored power to all remaining homes in the Upriver area.
- The primary BPA power source is online and serving the area. Moving forward, Cougar Dam will serve as a reliable backup system.
Pro Bono Fire Resources:
- The Oregon Trial Lawyers Association has established a hotline and pro bono resources to support victims of fire-damaged homes, businesses and property by providing free consultations about insurance claims and next steps. Click here for more information.
Electric Service FAQ
Home Wasn’t Destroyed by the Fire
Q: What actions do I need to take to get service restored?
A: Please contact our engineering team at 541-484-1151 and they will be happy to assist you.
Q: Can Lane Electric provide a diagram to show me what I’m looking at to understand the power lines to my property so that I know what might need to be repaired?
A: Please contact our engineering team at 541-484-1151 and they will communicate the technical details of your electric service.
Home Was Destroyed by the Fire
Q: I’m hiring an electrician to install a meter base and RV hookup for temporary power while rebuilding. Where should I put it now that the original service location is gone? Will I have to pay because it is not in the original location?
A: Please contact our engineering team at 541-484-1151 and they will be happy to assist you. Installations will be evaluated per Lane Electric’s line extension policy.
Q: Does Lane Electric need to get permits to put in temporary service for an RV and for contractors?
A: Prior to the temporary service installation, the member or their electrician should obtain a permit from the government agency responsible for issuing permits in their area.
Q: The power lines in my area need to be routed differently. Will there be consideration given to that since it needs to be rebuilt anyway? What can I do to about that?
A: All installations will be evaluated by Lane Electric’s staking technicians and configured in accordance with industry best practices.
Q: Is the town of Blue River going to be the last to get power restored (even temporary) because everything is basically destroyed?
A: Power is restored to the main lines on Blue River Road and Blue River drive. Individual connections are being restored as they are scheduled and when crews are available.
Q: How can I obtain a ‘Power Outage Confirmation Letter’ for my insurance company or FEMA?
A: Please call the Lane Electric office at 541-484-1151 or email us at email@example.com. We can send you a physical copy and/or email you a digital version.
Q: How will I get information if I return home before any communication or internet capabilities is restored?
A: As this rapidly changes, we anticipate cell service being added. Please contact your cell provider for the latest information.
Q: I need to access my property but there is wire down across my driveway that I’m told not to cross. How do I get the wire removed and when will that happen?A: Please call the main office at 541-484-1151 and we will provide an estimated time.
Q: When will my power be restored if I am in the fire zone west of the Blue River substation?
A: We are currently in the assessment and planning phase of our restoration efforts. We are working with the agencies involved and other utility providers to determine our next course of action. We will communicate a timeline as soon as the assessment is complete.
Q: How does Lane Electric determine when to shut off power?
A: We do not take power shutoffs lightly and do so when there’s fire danger (temperature, relative humidity, wind) and physical threats to the safety of our communities.
Q: Is Lane Electric’s equipment responsible for causing the fire?
A: The cause of the fire is under investigation and we are fully cooperating with federal and state authorities. We are unaware that any of our assets contributed to the cause of the fire at this time. A thorough investigation will take time and patience, and we want to respect the investigation and the process. In the meantime, Lane Electric is focused on power restoration for our members and is engaged in the rebuilding effort in these great communities we serve.
Q: Are you considering upgrades to the power system as a part of the rebuild? A: All options are on the table, and we plan to give each possibility the due diligence it deserves. FEMA hazard mitigation funds will be helpful in considering options that were not previously feasible.
Q: Why hasn’t Lane Electric undergrounded all their lines?
A: Undergrounding power lines is an expensive and time-consuming process, but Lane Electric is further along than many other rural utilities. More than half of our system is already underground, and we continue to bury more of it each year.
Q: Where can I get more information about current power outages?
A: Lane Electric’s ‘Outage Map & Status‘ page is a useful resource for up to date information about any ongoing large-scale power outages.
Q: What about my current power bill?
A: We are doing all we can to help our communities cope with devastating loss and the prospect of rebuilding. Member Assistance Program funds will be used to cover amounts owed by those who lost their homes in the fire. If you lost your home or will not be returning to your home for some time, we will suspend or disconnect your account, which will prevent a bill from being generated. Please call our office to discuss your home’s status and how we can help throughout this process.
Q: What fees will I need to pay when disconnecting and eventually to rebuild?
A: All fees to disconnect, reconnect, and rebuild line extensions will be waived for those in the fire-damaged area.
For Media and Press Contacts: Call 541-484-1151 or send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.