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Wed June 8, 2011
Wildfires Threaten El Paso Electric Transmission Lines
By Vanessa Dabovich
Las Cruces, NM – The Wallow wildfire has charred around three hundred eighty-nine thousand acres or six hundred and seven square miles.
The blaze is expected to reach the key power lines as early as Friday if the fire continues at its current pace. The power lines are located the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station in Arizona and carry almost forty percent of El Paso Electric's supply to southern New Mexico and West Texas.
El Paso Electric Spokesperson Teresa Souza says the company has begun to make adjustments in its system to lessen the impact to customers if the lines are affected by wildfires.
Souza-"In the event that the transmission lines are compromised or damaged it would tamper with El Paso Electric's capability to bring in power from Palo Verde. We may have to institute some power curtailment and conservation measures such as rolling blackouts."
Souza also says they are working on possibly obtaining power from other sources and utilities. El Paso Electric will inform customers, government agencies and the news media of the power situation as it changes.