Due to the dense vegetation and dry brush that characterize much of our landscape, the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding forested areas have been designated either “Tier 2” (Elevated) or “Tier 3” (Extreme) fire risk areas by the state’s High Fire Threat District Map.
Liberty is taking steps to mitigate the risk of wildfires in the communities we serve. Liberty has implemented a wildfire mitigation plan that addresses local factors.
Wildfire Mitigation Efforts
There are three main pillars or actions Liberty is taking to reduce the possibility of an electrical infrastructure-ignited wildfire. The first pillar is vegetation management, which aims to maintain power line clearance and reduce or eliminate combustible fuel near electrical infrastructure. The second pillar is infrastructure hardening, which involves upgrading and/or replacing infrastructure to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition. Third, and used as a last resort, are public safety power shutoffs, which are implemented when weather conditions present an increased fire risk, and shutting power off to some or all of the electrical grid is deemed a necessary precaution to help prevent a fire ignition.
Liberty crews are deployed year-round throughout the region to inspect trees and vegetation in the vicinity of power lines. In order to comply with state law and safety best practices, trees and vegetation that have grown too close to power lines will be pruned or removed to mitigate wildfire risk.
Liberty arborists can inspect a vegetation power line-related issue for customers who believe there may be a hazard to the electrical infrastructure. Submit a vegetation inspection request at the button below.
Infrastructure hardening is an ongoing system infrastructure improvement and replacement process aimed at lowering the potential of fires sparked by electric infrastructure. Over the next several years, Liberty will conduct the following improvements to support this process:
- Install covered conductors (insulated wire)
- Replace conventional fuses with limiting fuses
- Test and replace aging poles
- Enhance grid topology
A public safety power shutoff (PSPS) is a safety procedure utilized by electric utilities to proactively turn off power when and where conditions present an increased wildfire risk. The practice of de-energization as a last resort for public safety is regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).