Boulder County wildfires causes power outages Thursday night in Grand, other mountain counties
Consumers asked to conserve natural gas
Friday update: Customers should have had their power restored overnight.
Original: Xcel Energy is warning consumers to expect periodic electric outages tonight in Grand County.
According to a press release from the company, the Boulder County wildfires have impacted Xcel Energy’s natural gas infrastructure that supports the system in Grand and other counties.
To decrease the amount of natural gas being used by furnaces in the area and keep the system running, periodic outages will affect customers in Grand, Summit, Lake, Eagle, Saguache, Rio Grand and Alamosa counties for the next six to eight hours. The company said the outages should help Xcel to continue to provide reliable service to the mountain region.
High winds and the wildfires have caused significant damage in Boulder County, and at this time fire officials are not allowing any travel into the area. The release said Xcel Energy crews are working with fire officials to determine when it is safe to access their facilities and ultimately return service to normal levels.
To prepare for controlled electric outages, customers are encouraged to turn off computers, TVs and other electronics. Customers can take additional steps to reduce their use of natural gas by turning down thermostats and avoiding the use of hot water and other natural gas appliances such as gas fireplaces.
Xcel did not have an estimate of how long customer conservation will be required. The company added that taking steps to conserve can help prevent outages and help ensure that all customers continue to have natural gas service.
In addition, working with fire officials, Xcel Energy has turned off natural gas service to customers in Superior and Louisville to minimize safety concerns. It is not yet known when service will be restored.
As many as 600 homes have been lost and six people injured in the fast-moving Marshall fire that broke out Thursday east of Boulder.
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