June 8, 2018
Soldier Fire to Force Temporary Shutdown of Powerlines into Ruidoso/Mescalero/Tularosa
Lines to be shut down to allow for slurry drops near the fire
(Albuquerque, NM) - To allow for air tankers supporting the suppression of the Soldier Canyon Fire to make slurry drops near the Tri-State 115 kv powerline that feeds the Village of Ruidoso, the Village of Mescalero and Tularosa, power to that line will need to be shut down early this afternoon around 1:30 pm. Power will be restored as quickly as possible once the suppression operations are complete and any slurry that contacts electrical equipment is cleaned off. The goal is to have power back within 30 minutes, but it could take longer depending on how much equipment comes into contact with the slurry.
“Because incident command needs to drop slurry next to and possibly across the 115 kv line, Tri-State will need to de-energize it temporarily to prevent damage and the ability to provide power to these communities,” said Chris Olson, PNM Resources Senior VP of Utility Operations. “If the line is energized and they come into contact with the slurry, a short or other damage could occur, which would take much longer to fix. De-energizing the line is a precautionary measure to ensure that transmission isn’t interrupted for an even longer amount of time.”
Currently, there is no immediate threat to the powerline from the fire. Fire crews have been clearing vegetation along the powerline right-of-way area to improve the defensible space around the lines and several nearby wooden structures. This additional measure of dropping slurry is meant to slow fire growth by keeping it on the ground, which will protect the powerline.
To prepare for an outage, PNM recommends:
- Having alternative charging methods for cell phones or other devices that require power
- Have fresh batteries in flashlights
- Having backup power for family members who need electric powered, life-sustaining medical equipment
During an outage PNM recommends:
- Turning off all appliances and unplugging electrical equipment that was in use when the power went out
- Turning off all lights, except one, so you’ll know when power has been restored
- Unplugging or turning off all TVs, stereos, computes and gaming systems
- Keeping refrigerator or freezer doors closed as much as possible to preserve food
- Buying dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for more than four hours
Inside the home:
- Use flashlights rather than candles for lighting
- If possible, move to the lowest level of the home, since cool air falls
- Wear lightweight clothing and drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty
- If using a generator, never operate it inside your home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.