Fire Season Brings Longer Outages

May 27, 2022

DMEA Takes Preventative Action for Fire Safety

Fire prevention procedures are in effect as of May 27, 2022.

May 27, 2022 — With the heightened threat of wildland fire and the dry summer climate, Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) chose to put in effect its fire prevention procedures today. The preventive measures rely heavily on fieldwork by operations personnel and limit the use of DMEA’s automated and remotely controlled equipment. While this special mode of operations greatly reduces the risk of a fire being started by electrical equipment, it does come with ramifications: DMEA members may experience longer than normal power outages.  

“Our fire precaution procedures can extend the length of power outages. Under normal operations, we can reconnect much of our equipment remotely from our office. In fire prevention mode, we require our crew members to patrol the line and visually inspect our equipment before any attempt at restoration. It reduces the fire risk but does take more time,” explained Tim Vigil, DMEA Chief Operating Officer.

DMEA will evaluate the fire risk throughout the summer using the Colorado Wildfire Risk Viewer and monitor local weather conditions and Red Flag warnings. The co-op may return to standard operating procedures if the fire danger rating decreases to a safe level.

DMEA advises members to continue to report any power issues immediately. In many cases, a single phone call can save hours of searching by helping the DMEA’s line workers narrow their focus and pinpoint the cause of an outage. Members who experience an outage or observe anything that seems out of the ordinary concerning power lines or equipment should do the following:

  1. Stay clear of downed lines or damaged equipment.
  2. Call DMEA’s main number at 877-687-3632 to report the situation.

“Providing safe and reliable power to our members is our number one priority, but outages will happen. We ask for our members’ patience and assistance as we work to reduce fire risk and get through this time safely,” said Vigil.  

DMEA members should report outages by calling 877-687-3632 day or night. Email and social media are not reliable for reporting outages, as they are not continuously monitored. The co-op also provides a real-time outage map online here.