NV Energy looks at managing risk of wildfires by de-energizing infrastructures


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — During the summer months, Mount Charleston is very dry, making it prone to wildfires. It was just six years ago when the Carpenter 1 Fire devoured so much of the natural habitat. It was the largest to occur in decades, and because of that fire N V Energy is working on long term strategies to harden its electric grid, replace wood poles with metal poles, and install wildfire alert cameras. But changes in climate calls for something that can be done almost immediately.

“The risk of droughts of monsoon in our state is growing; the wildfire is growing,” said Kevin Geraghty, the senior vice-president of operations for NV Energy.

Compared to a few years ago, right now in southern Nevada the drought conditions and the dryness aren’t as severe, but six years ago, around this same time, it sparked the Carpenter 1 fire on Mount Charleston.

“It’s a reminder that the risk of fire and wildfire in that area are a real risk, Geraghty said.

Geraghty says they are making sure they manage the risk associated with our infrastructure, and that’s where public safety management or PSOM comes in to play.

“Basically making sure trees and debris and dead trees are far away from our infrastructure as possible,” said Geraghty.

“We’re also inspecting all our services up on the Mt. Charelston area,” Geraghty said.

For the first time this year, NV Energy will look at managing the risk of fire by de-energizing infrastructure.

“In this case, it is by perceived risk, and we will actually shut off in Mount Charleston’s case up towards 400 customers in response to the risk of the fuel on the ground,” said Geraghty.

8 News NOW Reporter has more on this story.

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