Co-op Month: Responding to disasters

Wildfires affect Poudre Valley's service area

Flames destroyed 259 homes in Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s service area. This home is located in Rist Canyon, the area in which the most homes were lost.

Many people lost their home and more in the massive wildfires throughout Colorado this summer. Members of Basin Electric’s cooperative family were affected, including Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association of Fort Collins, a member of Basin Electric through Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Wildfires affect Poudre Valley's service area

Steve Murrow, Poudre Valley operations superintendent, inspects the remnants of a three-phase line that serves a large communications array.

The High Park Fire was in their service territory. The fire started June 9. Three weeks later, it was contained on July 1.

At 8:20 into PBS NewsHour’s report on the heat wave, extreme weather and wildfires that affected the U.S. this summer, you can see and hear how Poudre Valley members dealt with the wildfires. Watch the video.

No employees of Poudre Valley were directly affected; however, they were concerned about the many members that suffered great loss. The employees decided to take up a collection for three charities: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Larimer County Humane Society.

Employees raised $2,455. Poudre Valley matched that, bringing the total to $4,910. Basin Electric and CoBank matched that, bringing the total to about $15,000.

CEO of Poudre Valley, Brad Gaskill, spoke about why the cooperative family stepped up. To find out what Gaskill had to say and to learn how they are recovering, check out the full story found in the Sept-Oct 2012 issue of Basin Today Magazine: Basin Electric and the membership building a better world.

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