Wildfire Information

wildfire burning in forest

Gold Hill Wildfire

With wildfire is becoming more common and intense in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Power is adding new safety measures and system enhancements in our state to help protect communities, and to provide safe, reliable power.

Wildfire Season is coming early this year and begins May 1, 2020, please check fir restriction levels before any yard work or burning.

This year Jackson County Fire District 3 will be providing a Biomass bin at City Hall from May 14 - 17. The bin is for clean wood debris disposal. Accepted material can range from shrub and tree limbs to pallets, wood shakes, discarded wood, construction debris, etc. No stumps or berry vines. Fire District 3 personnel will be onsite from 10-4 each of those days to answer any questions you may have about fire risk reduction, and to offer help with disposal.

Pacific Power Wildfire Information
Pacific Power’s updated, educational website provides specific tips on how to prepare and stay safe this wildfire season, along with information about PSPSs that could take place in certain regions.

Public Safety Power Shutoff
PSPS may be utilized in areas of high wildfire risk that Pacific Power will enact only when catastrophic wildfire conditions are present. PSPSs are expected to be uncommon, and affect as few residents as possible. When speaking with Jackson County and Pacific Power Gold Hill City Hall was informed that data shows that in the last nine years Gold Hill, OR would not have met the conditions for a PSPS. Pacific Power has more information about PSPSs on its website above.

Public Safety Power Shutoff Conditions:

Gold Hill, OR has been identified as an area that has a potential to have PSPS conditions. This safety measure will be used in Gold Hill, OR only when there is a high fire risk when on-the-ground conditions create an extreme wildfire risk that could lead to loss of life, catastrophic damage and be difficult to fight.

Pacific Power monitors a range of factors before triggering a PSPS including:

  • The presence of dry vegetation and other potential wildfire fuel
  • High winds
  • Low humidity
  • Real time observation from on-the-ground experts

Public Safety Power Shutoff Timeline (From Pacific Power Website):

While Pacific Power will provide as much advance warning as possible, rapidly changing conditions may require that we operate within a shorter time frame.

  • 3 to 7 days before: Pacific Power is actively monitoring forecasts for hazardous weather conditions that could lead to a Public Safety Power Shutoff.
  • Up to 2 days before: Once extreme weather conditions and other hazardous variables are met and sustained, Pacific Power begins coordinating with emergency services and local officials. Customers receive first notification of a possible Public Safety Power shutoff.
  • 1 day before: Extreme wildfire conditions persist. Coordination between Pacific Power and emergency services continues. Customers receive second notification.
  • Power shutoff: Extreme fire conditions persist remain and coordination continues. Customers receive third notification that power will be turned off to prevent wildfire ignition.
  • Power restoration: Extreme wildfire conditions have abated. Pacific Power crews patrol lines to inspect for damage and hanging debris. Power is restored once all lines are cleared and if repairs are required. Customers receive a fourth and final notification that power has been restored.

What Will be Provided During a PSPS?

Pacific Power and Jackson County will be providing cooling centers for areas affected by a PSPS. These cooling centers will provide a safe place for residents affected by a shutoff to keep cool, get water, charge a cell phone and utilize public toilets. Pacific Power and Jackson County are currently gathering a list of locations in affected communities that can be utilized for these purposes.

The PSPS team is also gathering a list of resources for residents that may require medical transportation out of the area due to disability or medical condition. If you are a member of the community that would like to self-identify as needing assistance during a PSPS or have medical equipment in need of electricity, please call 1-888-221-7070. Additionally, the Senior Center and your Gold Hill, OR City Hall team would like these communities to please self-identify to us in order to inform us who may need to be checked on during PSPS.

What Can You Do to Help your Community in Case of a Public Safety Power Shutoff/Emergency?

  • Know Your Neighbors and Communicate with Them Before, During, and After a Public Safety Power Shutoff/Emergency
  • Have an Emergency Plan and Be Prepared for a Public Safety Power Shutoff/Emergency
  • Practice Good Wildfire Mitigation in Your Home By: 
    • Creating a defensible space around your home by removing burnable debris such as dried leaves, dead tree branches and stacks of firewood. Pay special attention to clearing debris beneath decks and gutters.
    • Help ensure your family's safety by installing and maintaining smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in your home. Identify adequate sources of water within 1,000 feet of your home, such as a well, hydrant or swimming pool.
    • Be sure firefighters can easily access your home should they need to. Keep your driveway clear.
    • Creating an emergency kit that contains medicines, food, water, battery-powered flashlights and radio and other essentials.

Additional Resources That Can Help you Stay Informed: