Trinity Public Utilities District General Manager Paul Hauser doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to fire danger in the TPUD’s service territory, but said it’s “very unlikely.”
The public safety shutoffs are not to be confused with planned power outages for maintenance and repairs. In fact, several outages for work are already planned and announced for this month.
Regarding fire danger, Hauser said the TPUD maintains its right-of-ways to a high standard (within federal government requirements), “and our service territory also very rarely experiences high winds during fire season. This makes it very unlikely that TPUD would have to preemptively de-energize power lines.”
Still, Hauser said, the TPUD is working on the exact criteria under which it would do so. “It will be some combination of high winds, low humidity and low fuel moisture.”
Hauser said safety outages associated with TPUD’s system are completely a TPUD decision, and the Western Area Power Association that supplies power to TPUD has no plans to preemptively de-energize transmission lines.
However, PG&E has already implemented safety shutoffs in some of its areas outside of Trinity County due to dry and windy conditions. The company has customers in western and southern Trinity County.
Also, four TPUD substations are served by PG&E transmission lines: Hyampom, Big Flat, Forest Glen and Grouse Creek.
“PG&E may unilaterally make the decision to de-
energize these transmission lines, putting our customers at these substations without power,” Hauser said.