Learn about the Wildfire
As climate conditions have changed throughout the west, the overall risk, frequency and severity of wildfires has increased. The traditional idea of a fire “season” has evolved into a year-long battle against rapidly changing and more extreme weather conditions that can generate larger, more intense and faster moving wildfires. The investments we’re making in our power grid help minimize the risk of asset-caused wildfires.
Our Wildfire Mitigation Program includes:
- System initiatives and inspections to strengthen our equipment, reduce the chance of causing ignitions and increase protection in extreme weather conditions.
- Operational awareness efforts, which increase the sensitivity of our electric system protection during high fire threat conditions to reduce the risk of potential ignitions.
- Community outreach campaigns which strive to educate and communicate with impacted stakeholders, inform communities about our wildfire mitigation work and solicit feedback about needs specific to their communities.
In addition, our cross-functional Wildfire Mitigation Team works together to:
- Accelerate inspections in identified Wildfire Risk Zones.
- Use drones for inspecting equipment and LiDAR-equipped helicopters to inspect along power lines.
- Replace poles and equipment that pose an increased wildfire risk.
- Explore the use of innovative technologies to increase situational awareness and further reduce wildfire risk.
- Analyze the strength and ability of transmission and distribution structures to withstand higher-than-normal ice loads and wind speeds.
- Perform enhanced vegetation management around structures, poles and equipment.
- Improve protocols and fire-safe work practices to minimize wildfire risk.
- Work directly with our communities and first responders to inform, educate and further refine our program.
Ward Electric, Hooper Electric, Sturgeon Electric and EDM International are authorized wildfire mitigation contractors for Xcel Energy. Please do not approach the contractors if you see them in your community. If you have questions about the work they’re performing, contact the Wildfire Mitigation Team at 833-352-0087 or [email protected].