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Oregon Lays Down Rules For Power Shutoffs To Avoid Fires

David R. Tribble/Wikimedia

The practice began in California, and now Oregon is beginning to see electric utilities shutting off power to reduce the possibility of an electricity-sparked wildfire. So the state Public Utility Commission recently issued rules on the practice--Public Safety Power Shutoff--for the 2021 wildfire season.

The process is not as simple as flipping a switch, because many systems, including 911 responses, depend upon a steady supply of electricity.

PUC Commissioner Letha Tawney talks us through the rules set up for this year, in effect until November.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.