||IBEW Crews Brave Nevada Wildfire
1245s Sierra Pacific Power crew work amidst burned
structures and charred vegetation while restoring electric
service in Kings Canyon in the wake of a Nevada wildfire:
1245 Sierra Pacific Power lineman Charlie Appleton,
upgraded to foreman (in bucket); apprentice Randy Menesini
(on pole); and lineman Aaron Coulson (on ground).
Vacaville, California, Local
1245 members at Sierra Pacific Power mobilized rapidly
to restore service in the wake of a wildfire that blazed through
8,700 acres on the western edge of Carson City, Nevada.
The fire apparently spread quickly through Kings Canyon.
IBEW crews responded immediatelyinitially, the smoke was
so intense they had to work with masks.
"We got right in there with those fire guys," said
General Foreman Pat Lantis. "We got water pumpers out
and worked to salvage some poles."
As the blaze advanced, Sierra crews had to assess the direction
it would go and try to de-energize threatened areas. "We
didnt want poles going down and starting more fires,"
said Troubleman Scott Downs, a Local
After night set in, even as the fire continued to spread,
the crews began reconstruction. "That first night we
put up nine poles, changed some transformers and put wire
back up," Lantis said.
The IBEW team worked around the clock for the first two days
of the fire. Local
1245 Sierra Pacific warehouse employees from the Reno
area made sure the crews had ample suppliesthey brought in
the warehouse trailer with its stock of bolts, cross-arms
and braces. Crews worked extended days until all service was
restored to homes not damaged by the fire.
"Our guys did an exemplary job," Lantis said. "It
In all, 52 IBEW-represented Sierra Pacific employees mobilized
to combat the fire and restore power in its aftermath.