Labor Day weekend, 2020, wildfire swept through Oregon doing tremendous damage to property and lives. It hit DEC's neighboring utilities especially hard. At that time and others since, in order to mitigate the possibility of wildfire ignition, DEC was proactive and moved its protective system to the highest level of sensitivity possible. We have been lucky. In our service territory, we have avoided the same devastation other areas of Douglas county and Oregon has had to cope with. We do think our proactive approach combined with additional investment in vegetation management has helped keep fire off of our systems. DEC has its protective devices on high today and will likely keep them on high until we receive some rain. As a result, we have experienced a higher number of outages this week and when an outage occurs, it results in longer restoration times. We realize that this is inconvenient and we appreciate your patience. We really are trying to keep everyone safe but understand it comes at a cost of service reliability for you. We feel conflicted. Our whole focus is keeping the lights on. Setting the system to a point, where a bird or a squirrel can cause a significant outage does not sit well with us either, but it is the safest in fire season.
In the future, during fire season, this is likely to be the way of things. We will keep investigating ways to improve and harden the system for fire season and minimizing outages. Please accept sincere apologies and pray for rain.