Fire Prevention: What You Need to Know

In the Willamette Valley and much of the Pacific Northwest, last year's wildfires are still fresh in our minds. Just last month, the National Weather Service in Portland issued a Red Flag Warning for dry and unstable conditions for the Willamette Valley, causing many Oregon counties, including Lane County, to issue burn bans. Now with summer right around the corner and a forecast of hot and dry weather conditions heading our way, we must all be vigilant about fire protection.

Emerald People's Utility District's (EPUD's) crews are always on the lookout for potential fire hazards near power lines; however, their top priority is to remove tree limbs, dead trees, or "danger trees" from the power line right-of-way, not from customer property. Read on for information on how to handle tree-related fire hazards on your property.

What is the Customer's Responsibility?

  • Never attempt to trim or remove trees yourself if they are growing near distribution lines or your service line! Doing so can put you at risk of deadly electrical shock.
  • Keep an eye on your trees. Customers are responsible for making sure trees aren’t growing into the service line that delivers power from our distribution system to your house. If limbs are getting too close, or if you have a dead tree at risk of falling, contact a professional tree service to trim or remove the tree.
  • Call EPUD before your tree work begins. We'll arrange to temporarily disconnect the power line so the tree can be safely trimmed or removed. To schedule a disconnect, call us at (541) 744-7492 at least 48 hours before the disconnect is needed.
  • If you see hay collecting on power lines, let EPUD know! One of our servicemen will come remove the hay from lines as a preventive measure to reduce outages, prevent fires, and save money.

At EPUD, we care about your safety. We urge you to be cautious this summer and anytime dry, warm, and windy weather causes an increased risk of fire.

Want to know more about wildfire prevention and protection? Oregon's Office of Emergency Management has provided multiple resources at the Department of Oregon website.