With the continued dry, windy weather and soaring temperatures, Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) reminds members it has put in effect its fire prevention procedures. The precautionary measures rely more heavily on fieldwork by operations personnel and less on 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 -- power outages can last longer and affect more members.
"Our fire precaution procedures can result in larger and longer outages because we can't rely on our automatic controls. Under normal operations, our team can test devices and reconnect equipment remotely from our office. In contrast, in fire prevention mode, we require our crew members to have eyes on the equipment before any attempt at restoration. This increases the amount of time it takes for us to restore an outage. We appreciate our members' understanding and support as we try to get through fire season safely," explained Troy Hall, DMEA operations manager.
DMEA asks for member patience and, when necessary, cooperation. It is especially important for members to report any issues or damage to DMEA immediately. In many cases, a single phone call can save hours of searching by helping the co-op narrow its focus and pinpoint the cause of an outage. DMEA asks members who observe anything that seems out of the ordinary concerning power lines or power equipment to first and foremost stay clear of the area in question, then call DMEA's main line at 877-687-3632 to report the situation.
DMEA will operate in fire prevention mode until further notice.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.