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Press Release

Idaho Power Company to Pay $1.5 Million in Civil Settlement for Powerline and Lime Hill Fires

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.— The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced today that Idaho Power Company, a Boise, Idaho-based utility that provides electricity to several states, including Oregon, has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations by the United States relating to the May 2014 Powerline and August 2015 Lime Hill fires in Baker County, Oregon.

The Powerline Fire ignited on May 31, 2014, and burned approximately 5 acres of federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Lime Hill Fire ignited on August 5, 2015, and burned approximately 2,592 acres of federal land managed by BLM and 9,337 acres of privately-owned land.

Idaho Power Company has a utility right-of-way on BLM land in Baker County on which it owns and operates its 138kV Ontario-to-Quartz transmission line. The United States contended in the civil action that the Powerline and Lime Hill fires were caused by the failure of structures on the Ontario-to-Quartz transmission line. The settlement reached is not an admission of liability by Idaho Power Company and the company denies the United States’ contentions.

This case was investigated by BLM with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service. The United States was represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carla McClurg and Alexis Lien for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Oregon.

Updated August 25, 2022