With wildfire season already underway in parts of the west, Pacific Power is adding new safety measures and system enhancements to continue to help protect the communities it serves while providing safe, reliable power.
“While it is impossible to eliminate all wildfire risks, we continue to invest in our system in high-risk areas to reduce the chance of utility-caused, catastrophic wildfires during extreme weather,” said David Lucas, vice president of transmission and distribution operations. “We continue to upgrade our system to mitigate wildfire risk, protect people and property and increase equipment resiliency. This essential work and investment underscores our continued commitment to doing our part in the evolving preventative fight against wildfires.”
Last year, in addition to regular inspection schedules, crews performed 20,000 extra facility inspections system-wide. Other mitigation measures include:
Investing in new technologies, such as covered overhead wire to prevent sparks from occurring when debris or branches fall into the line
Installing dozens of weather monitoring stations throughout high risk wildfire areas for deeper insight into weather-related threats
Enhanced plant and tree clearings around power lines and poles in high risk areas
Coordinating with state and local government officials and forestry management groups and other stakeholders to help ensure public safety
Pacific Power recently released an easy-to-use interactive map to view areas where a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) may occur – rare instances when power could be proactively shut off in specific, high-risk areas to prevent wildfire ignitions. Customers can see if a home or business is in a potential PSPS area and view the seven-day status forecasts in these designated zones. These tools help customers stay informed and provide actionable information so they can be prepared and stay safe during wildfire season. Additional resources, along with the web tools are available at pacificpower.net/wildfiresafety.
For more information on the company’s wildfire prevention practices, customers can attend Pacific Power’s Wildfire Mitigation and Safety webinar on May 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.