Reducing risks

With wildfires becoming more frequent and intense throughout our region, protecting the communities we serve while providing safe, reliable power, is our highest priority.

To deliver safe and reliable power to your home or business – and to reduce wildfire risk, we prune over 270,000 trees along our lines each year. In response to increased fire risks, we are extending the minimum vegetation clearance areas around our lines in areas of higher fire risk, removing additional vegetation and adding more fire breaks.

We are performing additional inspections both by air or ground, and in some instances using infrared and radio frequency technology, to ensure that our lines are safe and operating as expected. Through system hardening, we are improving the resiliency of our system by investing in new technologies such as covered conductors, wood pole alternatives and additional protection and control devices.  

We are also taking steps to enhance our already robust situational awareness, which is the product of 30 years of information gathering and a century of fire-prevention experience.

  • We are training and equipping our field crews to monitor for wildfire risks.
  • We have mapped our service area to highlight areas of elevated wildfire risk and to prioritize proactive mitigation steps.
  • We monitor weather and fire hazard conditions through the National Weather Service and the National Interagency Fire Center.
    • We are also currently installing local weather monitoring points and sharing data collected with local weather and fire teams. This is an ongoing effort that will continue over the coming seasons.
  • We track satellite information and create alerts regarding any fires within 5 miles of Pacific Power electrical equipment (such as power lines or substations). These internal alerts allow us to respond rapidly and appropriately to any fire threats.

For areas at a higher risk of fast-spreading catastrophic wildfires, we are establishing a new fire prevention measure called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. A Public Safety Power Shutoff is a new measure designed to help keep people and communities in high-risk areas safe, by proactively shutting off power during extreme and dangerous weather conditions that can result in catastrophic wildfires. This measure would only be taken as a last resort to help ensure customer and community safety.

We are working closely with local emergency services agencies, the Oregon Department of Forestry, CAL FIRE and community leaders across our service area to expand and enhance existing emergency response plans and work in coordination with our communities. Requests for relevant data can be made to the following address: datareq@pacificorp.com.

Staying safe in wildfire season is a major undertaking. While no one measure can remove all of the risks, we are committed to taking every possible step to ensure that your power is safe and reliable – in wildfire season and every season.

See Pacific Power's 2019 wildfire mitigation planning update to the Oregon Public Utility Commission.

See Pacific Power’s first progress report to the California Public Utilities Commission regarding adoption of public safety power shutoff guidelines.