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Tree Crews Working in Areas Impacted by Holiday Farm Fire

October 21, 2020

Power line corridor with burned trees on either side

EWEB foresters and contract tree crews are working in the McKenzie River Valley following the Holiday Farm Fire to assess, trim and remove vegetation that may interfere with electrical infrastructure.

EWEB operates an extensive tree trimming program to enhance reliability and protect public safety by keeping trees and branches a safe distance from overhead electric lines. Following storm events, crews are often busy addressing safety issues and working to prevent additional tree-related power outages.   

"We're used to dealing with rain, wind and snow events," says Shane Tennison, EWEB's lead forester. "Following the fire, we're focused on making the system safe like after a storm, but we're seeing damage we're not used to--scorched trees, burned out roots, dealing with removing trees that are unsafe to climb and often in really rough terrain. "

Crews are working their way through all primary lines in the affected area, looking to ensure a 30-50 foot clearance and address hazard trees. As with storm response, safety is the top concern. In order to move through the area efficiently and address hazardous situations, crews will not be removing or chipping the debris as they go.

"We're also running into situations where we need to have the lines de-energized in order to safely address the surrounding vegetation," continues Shane. "We will do our best to provide customers advance notice of any service interruptions. But we anticipate there will be times we have to address the hazard immediately and won't have the opportunity to provide notice."

Just as EWEB works to address vegetation within the right-of-way, we understand customers are dealing with trees on their private property. If you, or your contractor, will be trimming or removing trees near your service line, please contact Electric Operations in advance during normal business hours at 541-685-7457 so we can help you do so safely. We will work with you to schedule a time to de-energize the line at no charge while the work is completed.

As you consider replanting this winter or spring, remember the "right tree, right place" approach. If you decide to plant trees under or next to power lines be sure to choose small trees (up to 25 feet at maturity) as they will seldom need to be pruned for line clearance. 

If you know of a location where trees are interfering with the power system, please report it using the online form or by call the tree trimming line at 541-685-7148. If you see trees or branches creating an immediate safety hazard, call customer service at 541-685-7000 to report the situation.