Idaho Power saves power poles with 'pole clearing' strategy

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(KMVT/KSVT) - Wildfires burn thousands of acres across the Gem State every year.

Wooden power poles may seem like an easy target, but many are salvaged. This is all thanks to Idaho Power's vegetation management strategy called pole clearing.

The two-step process includes clearing brush within a 20-foot radius of the power pole and treating its surroundings with herbicide to prevent growth.

"Preventing fire damage is a capital cost to replace them," said Marc Patterson, Idaho Power’s Engineering Leader for Vegetation Management. "In addition, it's a safety issue because if one pole goes down, it could lead to more wires on the ground."

Prior to this technique, Idaho Power experience up to 60 percent of pole loss during wildfire season.

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