Impact of Mosquito Fires: Severely Reduced Hydroelectric Power Generation

Full extent of damage awaits further assessment

Auburn, CA – The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) The Board received a full staff report on the progress of the Mosquito Fire and the status of the PCWAs Middle Fork American River Projectwhich is located in the footprint of the Mosquito Fire.

“While damage to the project cannot be fully assessed at this time, we can report that power generation has been significantly reduced,” explained PCWA Managing Director Andy Fecko. “As of this morning, our primary concern is our largest power plant, the Middle Fork Powerhouse, which is located less than a mile from the eastern boundary of the fire.”

(This Saturday, September 17)

(This Saturday, September 17)

(This Saturday, September 17)

(This Saturday, September 17)

Currently no impact on water supply

Although it has lost the ability to generate electricity, the Agency continues to meet its minimum water flow requirements from the Middle Fork Generating Station and Oxbow Generating Station, maintaining the flowing and available for firefighting efforts. So far, there is no impact on water supply or water service for PCWA customers.

“On behalf of the PCWA Board of Directors and agency employees, I want to extend our deepest condolences to everyone affected by the Mosquito Fire,” said Board Chairman Mike Lee. “PCWA has a number of staff who live and work in the affected communities, and I thank those who have come together to support them. I also want to express our deepest gratitude to the firefighting personnel and other first responders who battled record heat and unforgiving terrain to protect lives and property.

Evacuated employees

The Mosquito Fire broke out on the evening of September 6 near the Oxbow Reservoir in the Tahoe National Forest. Since then, PCWA has evacuated all area employees, coordinated with emergency responders on the location and protection of Agency assets, and opened its facilities in Foresthill and Auburn to personnel working on the front lines of the fire.

At the end of the board meeting, Mr. Fecko said, “Mosquito fire is the type of fire that has preoccupied PCWA for a decade and the reason why we take the protection of our pond so seriously. pouring. Experience has shown that the impacts on our rivers, hydroelectric facilities and ecosystem will take years to repair and cost tens of millions of dollars. The actions taken by the PCWA Board of Trustees today will allow the Agency to expedite emergency repairs on the project once conditions permit. The safety of staff and customers remains our top priority. »

At press time, the Mosquito Fire has reached just over 67,000 acres with 20% containment according to InciWeb, the national incident reporting system for wildfires and all-hazards incidents.

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