Rocky Mountain Power continues to monitor Sundance and Summit Park areas for wildfire risk

October 22, 2020

Rocky Mountain Power continues to closely monitor weather conditions in high-fire risk areas around the communities of Sundance and Summit Park. Conditions for a potential Public Safety Power Shutoff are expected to continue through the weekend. Crews have been working to make preventative repairs that have required some outages in the area, but conditions have not yet merited a Public Safety Power Shutoff. 

The measure is a proactive effort to mitigate wildfire risk in the face of hazardous weather conditions during an extended dry period. Current area forecasts indicate Public Safety Power Shutoff thresholds for those conditions, which include low humidity, dry vegetation and sustained winds and gusts, could be met through Sunday. Rocky Mountain Power serves approximately 600 customers in the Sundance area in Utah County and approximately 1,200 customers in the Summit Park area of Summit County.

“Our crews continue to patrol power lines in the area due to the extremely dry conditions,” 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 weather and power lines so we can respond quickly 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.

Rocky Mountain Power introduced Public Safety Power Shutoffs in 2019 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.

Current forecasted weather conditions — low humidity, dry vegetation, and elevated counts on key weather indexes — could meet the criteria for a shut-off through Sunday. 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. When such hazardous weather conditions arise in an area that has had an extended period of warm weather and low precipitation, fire-risk can be high.

In the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff, Rocky Mountain Power will re-energize the lines after weather conditions have subsided and inspections are complete.

Rocky Mountain Power also encourages 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.