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Fox causes widespread outage

GOLDEN VALLEY - A fox met an untimely death and caused a large power outage last week when it crawled under a fence and onto the equipment at a small UniSource transmission station on Mineral Park Road.

The outage, which began at 4:51 a.m. Tuesday, affected Golden Valley, the Oatman area and the communities north of Oatman, including Chloride, Meadview and Dolan Springs. A portion of Mineral Park Mine also lost power. All customers with the exception of the mine had service restored by 7:28 a.m.

"Once on the equipment, the fox made contact with the 69,000-volt transmission line, thus causing the protection equipment on the transmission line to operate and de-energize the line," said Bill De Julio, senior director of electric operations for Unisource Energy Services.

Several unsuccessful attempts were made to re-energize the lines remotely from the company's dispatch center, said De Julio. Workers were called out to patrol the lines and identify the problem, which turned out to be a fox. Once it was removed, the transmission lines were energized and power was restored. Service to the mine was finally reactivated at 4 p.m. Sept. 10, said De Julio.


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