Wildfire Mitigation

Clearwater Power continues to strengthen wildfire mitigation efforts.

Summertime heat and dry conditions in Clearwater Power’s service territory brings a threat of wildfires. In response, the co-op is continuing 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 and construction

  • Constructing new lines underground in areas with the highest fire risk
  • Installing animal guards on jumpers and transformers
  • Reducing the span 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 and 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 and recovery

  • Coordinating with local departments of emergency management
  • Conducting line patrols before re-energizing
  • 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 three states where Clearwater Power operates, the National Electric Safety Code and Rural Utilities Service’s regulations and guidelines.
Did you know? Nearly 90 percent of wildfires are caused by human error. By taking a few extra precautions, you, too, can help prevent wildfires.