We are working to help prevent wildfires by strengthening our electrical system. Over time, this work will reduce the need to implement Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) outages in high fire risk areas and help minimize the number of affected customers.
What is Our Wildfire Mitigation Plan?
Our plan to reduce the number of wildfires in California (officially, our Wildfire Mitigation Plan) outlines actions we’re taking to lower the risk of wildfires associated with our electrical system in high fire risk areas. This work goes hand-in-hand with the state’s heightened wildfire prevention effort, including providing additional firefighting resources and increased support for forest management.
SCE filed its 2023-25 Wildfire Mitigation Plan on March 27, 2023. The plan was approved by the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety on October 24, 2023.
What We're Doing to Keep You Safe
We’re strengthening our grid and adding technologies to reduce the chance of our electrical system becoming an ignition source. Some of these improvements are also part of our work to reduce the number of customers affected by PSPS outages.
Replacing bare overhead power lines with covered conductor (also known as coated wire) significantly reduces the chance that a power line could arc or spark if it comes in contact with an object like a tree branch or metallic balloon. In addition, fast-acting fuses interrupt current faster and reduce the risk of ignitions when there is an electrical fault, such as when a tree falls on a power line during high winds.
As of end of September 2023:
- Covered conductor: 5,220+ miles installed
- Fast-acting fuses: 14,200+ fuses installed or replaced
As part of ongoing wildfire mitigation efforts, SCE is undergrounding overhead distribution lines in severe risk areas to continue to reduce the threat of wildfires, particularly in communities where the power lines have not been replaced with covered conductor. Learn More About Undergrounding Power Lines
We inspect overhead transmission, distribution, and generation equipment in high fire risk areas from both the ground and air (using drones and/or helicopters) for any needed maintenance, repair, or replacement. We prioritize our highest-risk equipment and make additional inspections where dry fuels and strong winds pose an increased risk of fire during the summer and fall.
We inspect, trim, and remove trees to prevent vegetation from coming into contact with electrical equipment and potentially sparking a fire. Trees that have the potential to fall into power lines beyond our standard pruning zones are also assessed.
Monitoring real-time weather and ground conditions is one of the ways we can better predict wildfire risks. By expanding the number of weather stations installed and taking advantage of machine learning, we are improving the accuracy of our weather forecasts and models. These enhanced capabilities allow for more targeted PSPS outages, minimizing the number of people affected. We are also installing additional wildfire cameras to increase visibility in nearly all high fire risk areas.
- Weather Stations: 1,700+ installed
- Wildfire Cameras: 190+ installed
SCE is continuously developing new approaches and collaborating with other utilities, academia, and the energy sector to make our communities safer. Technologies such as Early Fault Detection (EFD) help spot potential electrical equipment issues early so we can make repairs before equipment fails, and Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCL) sense when electrical equipment falls and takes action to prevent potential ignitions.
Accelerated work to strengthen our grid has reduced the need for Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) outages. Customers on our most frequently affected circuits experienced a 70% reduction in total outage time based on 2021 weather and fuel conditions.