Electricity Grid Wildfire Risk Mitigation

Sun setting behind the silhouette of electricity pylons

ForestSAT AI helps build Wildfire risk mitigation plan by for prevention forest fires in vicinity of grid. It is not only important to eliminate the risk of a wildfire originating from grid but also to protect the grid from mega fires and fire tornados. 

ForestSAT wildfire fire mitigation solution goes deeper and farther than trimming of trees in the immediate vicinity of power lines. It analyses fuel buildup in the general area that might explode at the first spark. 

ForestSAT AI makes it possible to commission, monitor and document smart vegetation management in larger risk areas and coordinating action with multiple responsible agencies.


Regulators worldwide , starting with California, are making it mandatory for companies to state their wildfires risk mitigation plants and hold electric utilities accountable for preventing fires caused by their equipment.

Since 2015, power lines have caused six of California’s 20 most-destructive wildfires.  

Power lines and transformers are prone to causing or inflaming Forest Fires by falling trees, sparks from raging wildfires and flying debris. 

Conventional and cursory trimming of branches in the immediate vicinity of power lines is no longer sufficient. 

A comprehensive strategy and action plan is needed by utilities and is now not voluntary. 

Given the scale of costs, claims, penalties utilities are now required to prioritise grid safety and wildfire mitigation action.

ForestSAT machine learning models analyze Satellite Data from multiple satellites going back several years to provide a comprehensive AI actionable intelligence:

  • Our satellite imagery and multispectral data gives perspective far beyond the vicinity of the grid along its whole length.
  • Analysis of fuel build up
  • Fire areas-at-risk analysis
  • AI generated project tasks for work order generation
  • The electric grid in Southern Europe, US West is facing enormous challenges from wildfires and severe droughts fueled by climate change. On their part Utilities are fully aware of the risks and now commissioning geospatial data for going farther than ever before in fire risk mitigation.

Ageing power lines in drought hit forests in extreme heat and thunderstorms are very often the cause of wildfires. For example, US Utility PG&E filed for bankruptcy after the company’s equipment sparked several wildfires in the past few years, including the 2018 CampFire blaze that killed more than 80 people and razed the town of Paradise, California.

California’s witnessed 15 out of the 20 largest wildfires in its history since 2000, and suffered 10 of its most costly and destructive fires just in the last five years, according to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. This includes six of the twenty deadliest wildfires.

While multiple agencies, forest departments, municipal, state, and federal governments are responsible for wildfire prevention and mitigation, electric utilities are now given a special responsibility under the law because electricity grid power lines are a leading cause of California wildfires.

Case studies by BLM, conclude that the true cost of a wildfire is “anywhere from 2 to 30 times the more commonly reported suppression costs.” A 2018 research paper by researchers at UCL London totals the full cost of California’s 2018 fires at $102.6 billion, approximately 0.5% of the U.S. annual GDP. Significantly, the indirect costs total $42.7 billion and rival the $59.9 billion in capital losses and health costs that year.

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved $550 million in penalties for Edison International’s (EIX.N) Southern California Edison (SCE) power utility for violations related to the ignition of five 2017–2018 wildfires. – Reuters

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