DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Two linemen with Pee Dee Electric Cooperative are flying to Bolivia Sunday to help with repairs following the Amazon wildfires.
PDEC’s crew leader, Eugene Bryant and first class lineman, Chris Blackmon are flying out from Charlotte, NC and heading for La Chiquitania, Bolivia. This will be both men’s first time out of the country.
A press release from the utility agency said wildfires stemming from the Brazilian Amazon ravaged more then 5 million acres in Bolivia. The fires not only destroyed trees, but also power poles.
CRE (Cooperativa de Rural de Electrificación Ltda.) reached out to electric co-ops across the U.S. for help following the fires. Linemen from North Carolina and Arkansas are also set to go.
They will be reconstructing power lines and poles destroyed during the fires, and help train local linemen in Bolivia.
The trip was originally planned for November, but had to be postponed because of political unrest in the South American nation.
“I am so excited for the opportunity to help folks that really need it,” Lineman Chris Blackmon said. “That’s what this job is about.”
Pee Dee Electric Cooperative has also signed on to another trip to Bolivia to help bring power to areas that are yet to receive it.