News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Utilities, others offer tips for wildfire awareness

May is wildfire awareness month and a series of groups are offering tips in an effort to keep Oregonians safe. 

Resources to help every Oregonian get ready for wildfire season are available at wildfire.oregon.gov. The website includes tips on everything from staying informed about wildfire and wildfire-related outages to making a plan for evacuations to establishing defensible spaces that help slow the spread of wildfire.

Here are some additional tips recommended by the utilities and the Oregon Public Utility Commission:

Have a plan 

Businesses should communicate their outage-response plans to key employees, plan for workarounds to computers and cash registers and make a plan to bypass electronic door locks. Plan for livestock water needs in case well pumps lose power. Know how to manually open and close electric garage doors and security gates and  learn how to protect home and business electronics and appliances against data loss and surge damage when power is restored.

Make a power outage kit

Be sure to include shelf-stable food, water for people, pets and livestock, medications, flashlights, batteries and solar or car chargers for electric devices. Keep ice packs or frozen water in the freezer to help keep food cold. Kits should also include flashlights or camp lights, battery-powered or hand-cranked radios for information, battery-powered fans, extra batteries, car chargers for cell phones and electronic devices, bottled water and emergency phone numbers.

Stay informed

Contact your electricity provider or log in to your account and make sure all contact information is current so you can receive alerts and messages. If you rely on electricity to store medication or operate medical equipment, enroll in your electric provider’s medical certificate program, if available, to receive proactive communications about outages. Make a backup plan with your doctor and other medical providers. Visit https://oralert.gov/to find your local alert system. Provide current contact details and sign up for wildfire alerts. 

Information, resources and checklists

Pacific Power customers can visit pacificpower.net/wildfiresafety for resources and information including an outage preparation checklist for residential and business customers, an interactive map outlining potential public safety power shutoff areas and the 2024 mitigation plan.  

PGE customers can visit portlandgeneral.com/wildfiresafety for information about PGE’s 2024 wildfire mitigation plan plus other information, checklists and additional resources. 

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Forestry has launched Keep Oregon Green in partnership with federal, state, tribal and local fire agencies, to help spread the word about the steps that can be taken to prevent the start of wildfires this summer.  

Before heading outdoors this summer, residents are urged to contact the agency or landowner who manages the land at your destination for an update on current fire restrictions or bans. 

For more information, visit the websites for the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov/odf, and the Oregon State Fire Marshal at https://www.oregon.gov/osfm/education/pages/prevent-wildfires.aspx. Community members also can follow Oregon wildfire news and prevention updates on social media: Twitter @keeporegongreen, @ORDeptForestry and @OSFM.

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