Predicting Weather Conditions to Mitigate the Risk of Wildfires

Discover how fire-weather forecasting helps electrical utilities effectively plan their response.

In this episode, we will expand our discussion from an earlier episode about fire mitigation at electrical utilities. As the typical fire season has grown longer in many parts of the world, so-called fire-weather forecasting supported with advanced data intelligence is helping electrical utilities effectively plan their response before wildfires start and spread.

Our guest experts in this episode are based in the United States and they work together to implement essential fire-weather forecasting tools to stay ahead of wildfires and their disastrous consequences.

Renny Vandewege is the Vice President of Weather Operations at DTN, a global data, analytics and technology company. Before joining DTN, Renny was the director of the Broadcast Meteorology Program at Mississippi State University. He was also a broadcast meteorologist who covered Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

Denton McGregor is the Senior Reliability Center Manager at Black Hills Energy, which supplies natural gas and electrical power to customers in the U.S. states of Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana.

Renny and Denton describe how electrical utilities have typically dealt with forecasted weather conditions in the past to estimate the risk of wildfires. They also discuss how more comprehensive forecasting tools, such as fire-weather intelligence based on real-time and historical data and a risk planning index, have become essential to help electrical utilities take the guesswork out of predicting and preparing for potential wildfires and allocating resources where needed.

Also of interest: Earlier in our Episode Number 30 about fire mitigation at electrical utilities, our guest experts describe how the use of line control devices, such as reclosures, and the regular reliability testing thereof, enable technicians to respond quickly to downed power lines and avoid sparks in dry, windy conditions. Listen now:



“With more advanced forecasting tools, we help electrical utilities take the guesswork out of wildfire prediction.”

- Renny Vandewege, Vice President of Weather Operations, DTN


We now have the ability to plan for potential wildfire-related events 3-5 days in advance.

- Denton McGregor, Senior Reliability Center Manager,
Black Hills Energy

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.