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Wildfire safety and prevention


Overview


At Black Hills Energy, we work each day to enhance the safety and resiliency of our electric and natural gas systems to deliver safe and reliable energy to our customers, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. This includes taking proactive steps to maintain and upgrade our systems to protect against extreme weather conditions such as severe wind, snow and ice, flooding and wildfire.

 

Safety is our priority


We operate electric and natural gas utilities in several states which are experiencing severe and extreme drought conditions, leading to an increased threat of wildfire in many of the communities in which we serve. While wildfire season is typically June through November, the risk of wildfires is year-round.

Black Hills Energy proactively takes steps to harden our systems to minimize ignition risks associated with operating the power grid.

  • We analyze and monitor our transmission and distribution systems through routine power line inspections and pole inspections. 
  • We deploy enhanced vegetation management activities in areas around company assets and power lines to protect and enhance system reliability. These activities include the targeted control and elimination of unwanted vegetation in power line corridors and the identification and removal of hazard trees.
  • We take a strategic, data-driven approach to assess the safety and reliability of our extensive electric transmission and distribution system and prioritize system maintenance activities and upgrades to mitigate risks including the replacement and upgrade of aging infrastructure.
  • During wildfire events, we work closely with the fire department and take action at the direction of authorities to de-energize power lines in high-risk areas.