As climate conditions have changed throughout the west, the traditional idea of a fire “season” has evolved into a year-long battle against larger, stronger and faster wildfires. As part of our commitment to safety, Xcel Energy developed a comprehensive fire risk mitigation program designed to help protect lives, homes and property from the threat of wildfire. In doing so, we are helping to create a sustainable future for Coloradans who rely on us to power their lives every day.
Safety is our priority
We recognize that wildfires pose a significant threat to our customers, communities and our state as a whole – and we are proactively taking steps to minimize wildfire risks associated with operating our system. Our cross-functional Wildfire Mitigation Team works together to:
- Accelerate inspections in identified Wildfire Risk Zones and conduct new and enhanced inspections on equipment and poles.
- Replace equipment and poles that pose an increased risk and explore the use of new technologies.
- Analyze the strength and ability of transmission and distribution structures to withstand potential windspeeds and maintain adequate ground clearances.
- Conduct tree trimming, brush removal and other vegetation management in the areas around structures, corridors and equipment.
- Improve protocols and fire-safe work practices.
- Work directly with communities, first responders and other stakeholders to inform, educate, gather and incorporate feedback for our programs.
How we’re strengthening our system
We’re continually making strategic investments and improvements to bolster the power grid, build resilience and increase situational awareness to mitigate the risk of asset-caused wildfires. Our team oversees several main bodies of work: system hardening initiatives, operational and situational awareness efforts, and community and stakeholder outreach.