Every year starting in May, “hay season” begins. Emerald‘s servicemen patrol the rural farming communities throughout our District, looking for power lines that have collected windblown hay. They remove the hay from lines as a preventive measure to reduce outages, prevent fires, and save money.

“While seemingly harmless, hay has the potential to cause outages and extensive property damage in certain situations,” said System Engineer Doug Barab. “During hay season, lightweight hay can be picked up by wind and blown 100 feet or more into the air. If hay collects on power lines and then becomes wet from rain or dew, it can cause lines to spark and ignite a fire.”

In recent years, fires that started with hay on lines have sometimes resulted in large, widespread outages and costly damage to utility equipment and customer property.

“Our servicemen and line crews work hard to minimize these negative seasonal effects,” said General Manager Scott Coe. “Their proactive efforts to remove the hay before it causes a problem is part of our commitment to rural and farming communities.”

If you see hay that has collected on power lines, please contact Emerald at 541-746-1583 or CustomerService@nullepud.org.