Banks, News, utilities, wildfire

Learn about wildfire preparedness and power shutoffs at PGE event in Banks

Portland General Electric is hosting a public event in Banks Wednesday, June 5 to showcase their 2024 Wildfire Mitigation Plan, gather feedback from PGE customers, and spread the word about wildfire preparedness.

A reprise of a similar series of events held last year, the Banks event is one in a series of four in-person and two virtual events held throughout the state. Dinner will be provided to attendees.

Those interested in attending the open-house style event can find staff from PGE and public safety agencies in the Jane Moore Community Room at the Banks Public Library from 5 to 7 p.m.

“You’ll hear from us and other members of the community on topics like Public Safety Power Shutoffs, emergency preparedness and investments being made in your community, but more importantly, this event is a great opportunity to share your ideas and help us create better ways to serve you,” PGE said in a webpage for the event.

Map courtesy PGE
A June 6, 2023 PGE event in North Plains. Photo: Chas Hundley

“A Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) is when we proactively turn off power to reduce the risk of wildfire when conditions threaten our ability to safely operate the grid,” PGE explained. “It is a last-resort safety measure to protect people, property, and public spaces.”

Areas of western Washington County experienced one of the first Public Safety Power Shutoffs in 2022 over wildfire concern; a map outlining areas more prone to experience a shutoff shows that the Banks area, Manning, Buxton, Mountaindale, Gales Creek, Hillside, Glenwood, and Watts are all in areas most likely to see power cuts during periods of extreme wildfire danger.

For western Washington County residents, the Banks event will be the only locally hosted event; other options include an event on May 29 in Oregon City; June 8 in Salem, and June 11 in Corbett.

Virtual versions of the event will be held June 4 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and June 11 from 5 to 6 p.m.

More information about the events can be found online.

The Banks Public Library is located in Banks at 42461 NW Market Street. Contact library staff by phone at 503-324-1382, by email at [email protected] or find out more online at cityofbanks.org/library.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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