Power was restored to more than 1,000 homes north of Durango on Sunday afternoon, according to the La Plata Electric Association.
LPEA spokeswoman Indiana Reed said the substation at Trimble Lane locked open, causing 1,077 members in the Animas Valley to lose power for a couple of hours. Members calling into LPEA’s Dispatch Center reported witnessing a flash at the transformer in the 8300 block of County Road 203, located about 2 miles north of Trimble Lane.
Durango Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Jeff Harris said crews responded to a call of a fire beneath a utility pole near the 8400 block of County Road 203 on Sunday afternoon.
Fire personnel found and put out a 3 by 5 foot area on fire that was beneath a utility pole that carries phone, cable and electric, Harris said.
Reed said at 2:17 p.m. that power had been restored to all customers. Once crews arrived on the scene, the cause of the outage was determined to be a failed lightning arrestor (the piece of equipment installed at the top of poles to divert lightning strikes and protect the system). The freeze-thaw-freeze during winter weather can impact the equipment’s function, Reed said.