Avista takes precautionary measures for dry weather conditions Fire Safety Mode increases line sensitivity for summer

June 26, 2024

SPOKANE, Wash. – June 26, 2024: In response to dry summer conditions and increasing wildfire danger in the region, Avista is undertaking temporary changes to power line operations in its Washington and Idaho service areas. Avista has implemented this operational change, now called Fire Safety Mode, for over 20 years.

These temporary changes are being made to decrease the potential for wildfires that could occur when re-energizing a power line. During normal operations, the lines are set to try several times to clear a fault, reducing outage times. In Fire Safety Mode, to reduce the risk of fire, the line stays out after a fault until Avista crews determine it’s safe. Crews patrol the line to make sure nothing is touching it that could create a fire. Only then will they turn it back on. This can require more time to restore service but decreases the potential fire danger.

Using its fire-weather monitoring system, Avista can make the lines even more sensitive during times when high wind is predicted. If Avista decides to elevate the settings, customers will be notified at the email and phone number associated with their Avista account.

This practice is part of Avista’s Wildfire Resiliency Plan. Building on prevention and response strategies that have been in place for many years, Avista committed to a comprehensive Wildfire Resiliency Plan in 2020. Learn more at myavista.com/wildfire.

New this year 

Avista has added a new strategy to its wildfire mitigation plan. If extreme weather conditions are forecasted, like low humidity and strong winds, Avista may turn off power in specific locations to help protect public safety. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff, or PSPS. 


What customers can do: 

  • Make sure information is up to date with Avista. Avista wants to be able to reach customers about potential outages. Visit myavista.com to update account information or call customer service at (800) 227-9187.
  • Let Avista know if there are medical devices that rely on electricity. Customer information will be added to a list of customers who receive extra notifications in case of an extended outage. Learn more at myavista.com/medicalequipment.
  • Be prepared for outages. Customers should keep emergency supplies together in one place, like flashlights and backup portable chargers. There should be a few days’ supply of shelf-stable food and water for all people and pets in your home. Learn more at myavista.com/outages to create a to-do list in case of an outage.

Avista will return the distribution system to normal as soon as weather permits and fire potential decreases. Avista appreciates the patience and understanding of its customers during this time.


About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 418,000 customers and natural gas to 382,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.7 million.  Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.myavista.com.

Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.


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