With dry weather conditions and high fire danger, Chugach Electric Association says the utility is trying to mitigate wildfire risks in its service area, possibly making power outage times longer.

Chugach Electric said Tuesday it's taking temporary measures to power line operations in the Anchorage Bowl, Tyonek, and Northern Kenai Peninsula. The company will also be clearing more trees from the Anchorage Hillside while the fire danger remains high.

Normally, the power lines re-energize automatically following a short-circuit, but power line personnel have been leaving the circuit until they can patrol an outage area before power is restored due to weather and potential fire risks.

Since the new measure, crews said re-energizing power lines manually could cause longer outage times.

"With fires burning to the north and south of us, we believe taking proactive steps to mitigate any fire danger is the right thing to do," said Chugach CEO Lee Thibert. "Having our crews physically patrol an area before a line is re-energized is prudent action to take in these conditions. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our members during this time."

The company is also working with its tree contractor to remove dead or dangerous trees on the hillside, clearing trees under or near power lines. Crews are working closely with homeowners to make sure they have permission before downing trees.

Power line operations will return to normal as soon weather permits, according to Chugach Electric. If a person sees a tree leaning on a power line to call the danger tree hotline at 907-762-7227.

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