EAST WENATCHEE — The Cold Springs Fire jumped the Columbia River near Bridgeport on Labor Day, became the Pearl Hill Fire and then burned 223,730 acres in Douglas County.
The fire destroyed more than 300 power poles, knocking out power to 2,400 customers and handing the Douglas County PUD a daunting challenge to restore power as soon as possible, the work beginning while the wildfire still raged.
“My mind spins at the logistics of getting materials and crews where they need to go,” said Douglas County PUD spokeswoman Meagan Vibbert. That includes figuring out how to feed the 120 linemen — a mix of the four Douglas PUD crews, contract and mutual aid crews — on the job trying to restore power to customers.
On Sept. 8, about 2,400 customer were without power. In a little more than 10 days power had been restored. The concern was not just homes without power, but domestic and irrigation pumps as well.
Other PUDs helped the Douglas County PUD crews, including crews from Chelan, Grant, Benton and Franklin PUDs.