Power lines in the path of Poco Fire

June 20, 2012

The Poco fire burning outside of Young, Ariz. doubled in size overnight as firefighters were dealing with gusty winds and high temperatures. And as KJZZ's Terry Ward reports, it has forced the shutdown of power lines in the area.

TERRY WARD: The Poco fire has burned through 8,100 acres of Ponderosa pine in the Tonto National Forest, about 80 miles northeast of Phoenix. The blaze has been threatening two 500 kilovolt power lines in the area, and Tuesday night the heavy smoke automatically tripped the lines. Those lines help supply power to the Phoenix and Tucson area. Salt River Project spokeswoman Patty Likens says even with the high temperatures the last few days, the electric demand is not an issue.

PATTY LIKENS: We're still confident that we're going to be able to meet that demand, and we're watching closely. Our hope obviously is that the line comes back into power soon, and we're hearing that may occur later today.

WARD: Likens says the low humidity this time of year tends to lessen demand for electricity. She says it could have been worse.

LIKENS: If we were in later in July we would certainly be more concerned because as the humidity rises we all get more uncomfortable and we turn on our ACs so the demand does increase.

WARD: Likens says SRP is tapping into other sources to make up for the lost energy.

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