When the Heat Is On

Clearwater Power continues to strengthen wildfire mitigation efforts as the risk of wildfire increases.

Summertime heat and dry conditions in Clearwater Power’s service territory bring a threat of wildfires. In response, the co-op continues to strengthen its efforts to help reduce the risk to the communities it serves.

Clearwater Power’s wildfire mitigation strategies are intended to increase reliability and safety while minimizing the probability that its electrical network may be the catalyst or contributing factor in the ignition of a wildfire.

Some of the mitigation programs and activities implemented at Clearwater Power include:

Design & Construction

  • Distributing new lines underground in areas with the highest fire risk.
  • Installing animal guards on jumpers and transformers.
  • Reducing the length of lines in high- wind areas.
  • Maintaining a bird protection program.
  • Increasing phase spacing.
  • Using fire-resistant coating on high-risk wood poles.

Inspection & Maintenance

  • Using infrared technology to inspect substation equipment.
  • Using drones to inspect lines and pole tops.
  • Enhancing line patrols in high-risk areas prior to the fire season to identify potential hazards.

Operational Practices

  • Accelerating the vegetation management program, contracting with additional tree trimming services to trim more rights-of-way.
  • Increasing community outreach and wildfire safety awareness.
  • Using alternate recloser practices during fire season in high fire risk areas.

Situational Awareness

  • Monitoring the weather

Response & Recovery

  • Coordinating with local departments of emergency management.
  • Conducting line patrols before reenergizing.
  • Implementing, and refreshing annually, a
    wildfire mitigation plan and an emergency
    response plan.
  • Establishing mutual aid agreements.

All efforts comply with current and proposed laws in all 3 states where Clearwater Power operates, the National Electric Safety Code and Rural Utilities Service’s regulations and guidelines.

Did you know? Nearly 90% of wildfires are caused by human error. By taking a few extra precautions, you can help prevent wildfires.

Tips to Prevent Wildfires (PNG)