Rocky Mountain Power continues to monitor Cedar City area for wildfire risk

September 18, 2019

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Rocky Mountain Power continues to closely monitor weather conditions in high-fire risk areas around Cedar City and may issue a Public Safety Power Shutoff Thursday.

The measure is a proactive effort to mitigate wildfire risk in the face of hazardous weather conditions including low humidity, dry vegetation and sustained winds and gusts. Current Cedar City-area forecasts indicate Public Safety Power Shutoff thresholds for those conditions could be met Wednesday and Thursday.

“Our crews continue to patrol power lines in the area and ahead of the incoming storm, where gusts are predicted to reach between 30-50 miles per hour beginning tomorrow morning,” said Curt Mansfield, Rocky Mountain Power vice president of transmission and distribution. “Currently, we are strategically positioning teams for on-the-ground real-time observation to monitor power lines and quickly respond to any issues.”

Public Safety Power Shutoff events are part of the utility’s comprehensive wildfire prevention plan, which includes additional safety inspections, upgrades to the grid system, and weather stations to monitor for hazardous conditions.

This summer, Rocky Mountain Power introduced Public Safety Power Shutoffs to customers in communities where the new wildfire mitigation measure could potentially be implemented. The company held meetings in each of the communities and notified all those who could be impacted.

Cedar City’s current forecasted weather conditions — low humidity, dry vegetation, and elevated counts on key weather indexes — could meet the criteria for a shut-off tomorrow. Though the margins above the threshold measures for requiring a shutoff are small, they are within range to trigger monitoring and customer notification.

Turning off power during a Public Safety Power Shutoff is done to prevent a spark from happening when wind-blown or falling debris make contact with power lines. For example, high winds can blow objects such as branches onto power lines. Once line inspections are complete and extreme weather conditions have subsided, Rocky Mountain Power will re-energize the lines.

Rocky Mountain Power is also encouraging customers to be prepared by creating a defensible space around your property, which includes minimizing thick vegetation close to your home.

Customers will receive follow-up notifications in advance should a shut-off event be initiated. For all non-emergency questions about the Public Safety Power Shutoff watch, customers and the public should call Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.

Visit rockymountainpower.net/wildfiresafety for additional information on Public Safety Power Shutoffs and wildfire mitigation practices.