3 p.m. update:
As an example of how wildlife can impact electricity transmission, the cause of the power outage this afternoon, which affected the 46kV transmission line supplying La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) consumer-members in Bayfield and Ignacio, was a crow's interaction with the system, according to a press release from LPEA.
At approximately 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, the system noted a disturbance on the line and circuits locked open, cutting power to 6,537 meters fed by the substations in the area. Power was restored at 2:42 p.m. once LPEA's crews arrived on site and found the cause of the outage.
Earlier this afternoon:
More than 6,500 homes and businesses in portions of eastern and southeastern La Plata County were without power Tuesday afternoon.
The outage was reported about 1:45 p.m., according to La Plata Electric Association's outage map.
LPEA spokeswoman Indiana Reed said power provider Tri-State Generation and Transmission's breaker locked open, cutting power to 6,537 customers in the Bayfield and Ignacio areas. She said crews are working to restore power.
Areas affected include the U.S. Highway 160 corridor east of Colorado Highway 172.
This includes the towns of Bayfield and Ignacio. The Durango La Plata County Airport is within the outage area, as well.
The outage extends across the Archuleta County line. It also includes areas south toward Navajo State Park.
This is a developing story. Please check back with www.pinerivertimes.com for updates.