Residents urged to stay informed, make a plan and charge their phones as risk of fires, power outages increases

September 8, 2022

Scene of trees and smoky skies.

Multnomah County is working with its partners to prepare for high winds and increased fire risk beginning Friday and continuing into Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for strong east winds and critically dry conditions that greatly increase the risk of wildfire.

In response, Portland General Electric announced it may issue Public Safety Power Shutoffs in 10 higher-risk areas in the Greater Portland Metro region, including the Corbett area, the Mt. Hood Foothills, portions of the West Hills and the Columbia Gorge in Multnomah County. PGE said it could shut off power to as many as 30,000 customers to reduce the risk of wildfires.

PGE said it is communicating directly with customers in the impacted areas and also sharing information online at, @PortlandGeneral on Twitter and @PortlandGeneralElectric on Facebook.  People can also enter their address in PGE’s map of potential shut-off areas. Customer service is available at 503-228-6322 or 800-542-8818. If you need to report an outage or emergency, call 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795 or go to County encourages everyone to sign up at to get the latest information in their area. People who live in an area likely to be part of power shutoff and have a medical need for electricity should make a plan with friends and family to leave the area for the duration of the event. The preparedness checklist in PGE’s medical needs brochure can help people think through their plan.

Multnomah County Resource Centers and Libraries

In the event of a shutoff, Multnomah County is opening two Community Resource Centers — providing charging stations, ice, water and information — at the Corbett Fire Station, 36930 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy., Corbett, OR 97019 and in the West Hills at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 72, 11646 N.W. Skyline Blvd, Portland, OR 97231.

The Corbett and West Hills locations will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday if power has not been restored.

Multnomah County Libraries will also be open normal hours Friday and Saturday. Check locations and hours before heading out

PGE also plans to open Community Resource Centers in affected areas.

The Multnomah County Department of Human Services has been working directly with clients in higher-risk areas to have a plan and to prepare for the potential disruption. Anyone needing information or assistance for seniors, people with disabilities or caregivers during this event should call the County’s 24-hour Aging and Disability Resource Connection line at 503-988-3646 or email

“People should be planning now about what they will do if they are in a PGE shut off area or lose power as a result of the high winds., We want everyone to be prepared if they do lose power, or it takes longer to restore power after a shut down,’’ said Chris Voss, Director of Emergency Management. “Have a plan, check in on neighbors, and be aware of hazards from tree falls.’’

Prepare for a Power Outage 

The County is working with PGE and regional Metro, County and city of Portland partners to coordinate public information, including sending emergency alerts to affected neighborhoods.

But because wind-driven outages can occur anywhere at any time in Multnomah County, residents and visitors are urged to:

  • Keep cell phones charged. 
  • Prepare a power outage kit that includes:
    • A list of emergency contacts
    • Battery-operated light sources
    • Emergency medical supplies
    • Equipment/assistive devices with personal contact information
    • Ice packs and an ice chest to store medications
    • Fresh batteries and power banks 
    • Food and water supplies for up to 72 hours
    • Emergency kits for pets
    • Blankets and extra clothing
    • Extra money and any documents needed to secure Social Security and/or other regular benefits
  • Plan a backup location in case of extended outages
  • Have a transportation plan in case of evacuation

Wildfires, Woodsmoke and Air Quality

A mandatory burn ban issued by the Multnomah County Fire Defense Board is in effect for all areas of Multnomah County. This includes recreational campfires, fire pits, yard debris, agricultural burning and permits issued for open burning until further notice. People should use extreme caution when cooking outside. Check with your local fire department for more information, or to report a fire.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality today also advised that winds from the east may bring wildfire smoke into Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Linn, Marion, Polk, Washington and Yamhill counties.

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, the Department of Environmental Quality’s  Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on a smartphone.

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