Best Practices for Utility Wildfire Mitigation Planning

Live Streaming Online June 22-23, 2022

A Program

Click Here to register ($1195)

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

The threat of wildfires causing significant social, economic, and environmental damage is increasing as wildfire seasons are growing longer and average wildfire sizes are increasing.  The risk is driven by a combination of climate change, fire management and suppression, wildland-urban interface population, utility infrastructure, and extreme weather events. Legislation in California has established, among other things, requirements for utilities to submit Wildfire Mitigation Plans (WMPs) to improve utility wildfire safety by focusing on their initiatives aimed at mitigating ignition risk from their own infrastructure.

Developing effective WMPs requires effective collaboration that engages stakeholders in decision-making, as well as taking into account differences in wildfire threat in various communities, focusing on long-term resilience, and using data effectively to understand and plan for risk. EUCI’s Best Practices for Wildfire Mitigation Planning course will address priorities in developing WMPs as well as the processes, tools, and capabilities necessary to support utility mitigation efforts in the long term, to better serve the needs of local communities. Register now for this virtual opportunity that puts a spotlight on the steps required to build a fire-safe culture that prioritizes long-term, systematic risk reduction for utilities and the communities that they serve.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the common components of WMPs
  • Review best practices on how to prepare wildfire mitigation plans
  • Identify how to tailor WMPs to address specific services areas and risks
  • Discuss the importance of communication between stakeholders in developing WMPs
  • Assess trends in vegetation mitigation strategies
  • Examine regulatory considerations by state
  • Review wildfire mitigation methodologies
  • Assess the value of data in developing mitigation strategies
  • Identify key concerns in power safety shut-off policies
  • Examine a variety of engineering strategies in mitigation efforts
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of situational awareness in creating a WMP



9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Pacific Time

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. :: Introduction

  • Overview
  • Objectives

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: Regulatory Considerations

The goal of utility wildfire mitigation planning is to implement programs that yield results. While utilities are responding to regulatory prompts in developing and enacting their safety plans, states continue to refine policies and requirements in pursuit of promoting safe, reliable service at reasonable rates. This session will examine various states’ regulatory approaches to utility WMPs.

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Other

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. :: Risk Assessment

As part of the wildfire mitigation planning process, utilities stakeholders need to assess wildland fire risk throughout a service area to develop unique, effective prevention strategies and protocols, and have begun to adopt data-driven decision-making practices, including establishing collaborations to increase data capabilities. While analytical tools hold promise for improving mitigation efforts, there are also underlying weaknesses in data-reliant assessments that need to be addressed to fully realize that promise.

  • Methodologies
  • Modeling
  • Data assessment
    • Data Sources
    • Data Considerations
  • Cautions/Pitfalls

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Lunch Break

12:30 – 2:00 p.m. :: Mitigations

Wildfire prevention practices and engineering programs reduce or eliminate fire hazards and risks, changing the environment by removing or reducing heat sources, modifying fuels to create a defensible space, and reducing the likelihood of a heat source coming in contact with ignitable fuels. This session will examine how these mitigation strategies can be incorporated into WMPs.

  • Best Field Practices
    • Response to Escalating Fire Weather Conditions
  • Best System Operations
  • Engineering Solutions
    • Planning
    • Design
    • Sectionalizing

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

2:15 – 3:45 p.m. :: Vegetation Management

Sustainable utility vegetation management (UVM) programs are typically focused on programmatically managing risk related to public and employee safety, electric service reliability, regulatory compliance and cost while looking ahead to assess other risks such as wildfire ignition and asset protection. Utility vegetation managers have an ever-growing list of advanced and partially automated technologies and solutions to effectively manage both “traditional” risks as well as emerging and increasing threats, such as wildfire.  Best-in-class programs have met these challenges by being adaptive, innovative, and creative in combining various tools to solve specific problems as well as holistic challenge faced by not only VM, but other departments, as well as external stakeholders.

  • Leading Trends
  • Best Management Practices
  • Use of Remotely Sensed Data
  • Working Across Utility Departmental “Silos”

James S. Downie,Principal, Utility Services, EDM International

Brock A. Brockbank, Principal, Utility ROW Services, EDM International

3:45 – 4:15 pm :: Performance Metrics and Monitoring   


9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Situational Awareness

Situational awareness (SA) can vary depending on stakeholder perspective. SA involves perceiving environmental events, understanding their meaning, and projecting future trends and potential impacts. Situational awareness, which can vary depending on stakeholder perspective, comes into play during all stages of the wildfire event lifecycle: preparedness, detection, initial response, suppression, mop-up, and reclamation. This session will examine the role of SA in wildfire response planning.

  • California’s Investor-Owned Utilities’ Strategies
    • Fire Potential Index (FPI)
  • Public Information
    • Red Flag
    • Large Fire Potential
    • Defensibility
    • Agency Use

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. :: Public Safety Power Shutoff

Investor-owned utilities have the authority to shut off the electric power to protect public safety. Utilities do this during severe wildfire threat conditions as a preventative measure of last resort through public safety power shutoffs. What factors need to be taken into consideration when adding PSPS procedures to a utility wildfire mitigation plan?

  • Timeline
  • Considerations
  • Precautions
  • Communication Before, During, and After

11:30 am – 12:30 p.m. :: Fire Response

  • Agency Response
  • Agency Relationships
  • Building a Fire Classification Schema
  • Communicating Fire Intel Internally