Preventing Disaster: Wildfire Mitigation at Electric Utilities

Find out how Pacific Gas & Electric is reducing the risk of wildfire sparks from downed power lines.

We are all aware about the present and increasing risk of devastating wildfires all over the world, especially those recently experienced in Australia and the western United States. Prolonged dry conditions in these regions have greatly increased the risk of wildfires starting and spreading with alarming speed.

Wildfires cause not only massive destruction to the power system infrastructure, often that same infrastructure is discovered to be the initial source of the fire. After all, it only takes a spark in dry, windy conditions.

In this episode, Robert Wang, Recloser Control Solutions Product Manager at OMICRON and Justin Henson, Distribution Line Technician Specialist at Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), discuss how the reliable operation of recloser controls in the power grid plays an important role in wildfire mitigation at electric utilities. Justin also describes how PG&E, a major U.S. utility in northern California, implements its zero-tolerance policy for wildfire sparks caused by downed power lines.

Learn more about recloser control testing: 

Recloser Controls 


Recloser shut off electric power when an abnormal event occurs, like heavy winds blowing branches onto the power line.”

- Robert Wang, Product Manager Recloser Control Testing Solutions, OMICRON


Safety is Number 1 for PG&E – if that means shutting down the power before disaster strikes, we will do it.”

Justin Henson, Distribution Line Technician Specialist, Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Listen to all Energy Talks episodes here: Podcast page

Questions, Feedback or topic suggestions
regarding our podcast?


Get in touch

You are using an outdated browser version.
Please upgrade your browser or use another browser to view this page correctly.