Power Back On In Oregon After Weekend Of Fire, High Winds

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Utility companies said Monday they have restored power to tens of thousands of customers after shutting down service over the weekend to try to prevent wildfires during high winds, low humidity and hot temperatures.

Both Portland General Electric and Pacific Power enacted planned power shutoffs Friday as high, gusting winds and low humidity moved into Oregon, posing extreme fire danger. The utilities were concerned that the winds would cause power lines to break or sag, making sparks that could ignite tinder-dry vegetation.

Portland General Electric halted power to about 37,000 customers in 17 service areas starting Friday and Pacific Power shut down service to 12,000 customers.

Power shut-offs due to fire weather, common in California, are new to the Pacific Northwest.

The strategy appeared to be successful, with no major new blazes over the weekend.

Portland General Electric also fully restored power to all affected customers by Saturday evening, the company said.