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Northfork Electric


Cooperative, Inc. Operating in


Beckham, Roger Mills, Washita, Greer, Custer, Harmon, and Dewey


SCOTT COPELAND GENERAL MANAGER


BOARD OF TRUSTEES


Jimmy Taylor-Pres ....................Elk City Charles Hickey-V. Pres..............Reydon Ransom Snowden-Sec-Treas........ Erick Chris Mackey................................Sayre Larry Smith ............................Cheyenne Lloyd Joe Patton ..........................Sayre Danny Davis ..............................Elk City Brendon Atkinson........................Attorney


SAYRE OFFICE


Kenny Waugh .................Mgr. of Marketing Lisa Dailey...................Mgr. of Office Services Jeff Mohr................Mgr. of Acct. & Finance Kay Brown ..........................Adm. Assistant Richard Bowdre................Operations Mgr.


REYDON OFFICE Barbara Swope ................655-4557


FOR OUTAGES AFTER 5 P.M. CALL 1-800-NO-VOLTS (1-800-668-6587) or


(580) 928-3366


OFFICE HOURS 8 AM TO 5 PM MONDAY-FRIDAY


DATES TO REMEMBER READINGS MUST BE IN


NORTHFORK OFFICE BY THE 10th


OF EACH MONTH


TO BE USED FOR BILLING


ADDRESS P.O. Box 400


SAYRE, OK 73662 18920 E. 1170 Rd.


Take Note of Power Poles When Planning a Controlled Burn


by Heath Martin NFEC Safety Director


Properly controlled burns can have many benefits for agricultural land. Controlled burn- ing, or prescribed burning, can recycle nutrients, prevent ecological overcrowding, reduce the likelihood of unmanned fires, and prepare agricultural sites for planting and seeding. Howev- er, if these burns are not managed safely, they can result in property damage, power outages, injury, and even death. Safe Electricity urges you to make safety a priority and shares impor- tant information on the special considerations that need to be taken around power lines. First, make yourself aware of laws and regulations. Burns should only be conducted by those who are experienced with fire and burn paths. Before burning, consider public safety, avoid burning near public roads or airports, as this can create a potentially dangerous visibility hazard. Alert all those who may be potentially affected by the burn — including neighbors, the local fire department, and law enforcement. Depending on local regulations, you may also need to obtain a burn permit. The U.S. Fire and Wildlife Service recommends those conducting a burn have a plan that includes intended irrigation methods, the necessary weather conditions for the fire to take place, smoke management procedures, what protective equipment will be required, and natural characteristics of the site.


When factoring in the natural characteristics of the planned burn site, take special note of power poles and lines. They pose their own set of hazards for prescribed burns. Burn- ing a power pole could result in a widespread power outage and be costly for the individual responsible for the fire. The damage to poles depends on the duration of the fire but also on past weathering. Planning ahead and properly controlling these burns can reduce injury and damage.


Cut down grass and weeds and water the area near the poles as to not encourage fires to encroach. Be careful to keep water streams out of power lines.


If a power pole catches on fire, call the fire department and alert your utility to handle the possible electrical dangers. Even if you think you have been able to put out the fire yourself, alert the utility to the fact that it caught fire. The creosote, a preservative, on the inside could still be burning the pole from the inside out.


Even partial damage to a power pole may result in the need for its entire replacement. In addition, if the pole catches on fire, it could create shock or electrocution hazards to those who may be nearby or spark fires in unintended directions from downed lines. Carbon particles in smoke can conduct electricity, and it is also possible for smoke produced during the burnings to conduct electricity and cause an electrical discharge from the line. To reduce this risk, the fire should not cross under powerlines. Also keep environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and wind direction and


speed in mind. The wind speed in the area should be low and in a steady direction as to not let the fire get out of control. As environmental factors are subject to change, check forecasts as well as actual conditions before you begin the burn.


This institution is an equal oppor- tunity provider and employer.


As always, safety should be a priority; be sure you have the proper clothing, equipment, and tools. For personal safety, all those near the flames should wear clothing made of natural fibers or approved for firefighting.


For more information on control burns and safety around electrical poles and equipment, visit SafeElectricity.org or feel free to contact me at 580-928-3366.


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