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California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board Approves Updates to Wildfire Mitigation Plan

April 20, 2021
Recommendations accepted by the Wildfire Safety Advisory Board address five key topics.

The California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board approved recommendations on the 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan Updates for large investor-owned utilities at its April 14, 2021, Board meeting.

Assembly Bill 1054, signed into law in July 2019, created the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board, a board of independent expert advisors, with two primary functions. First, to advise a new Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC on wildfire safety measures, including plans written by utilities, so the CPUC can more effectively regulate the safety of investor-owned utilities. Second, to review the Wildfire Mitigation Plans submitted by Electric Publicly Owned Utilities and Cooperatives and provide an advisory opinion. The Wildfire Safety Advisory Board also serves as an additional forum for the public to provide input on wildfire safety.

The Board’s approved Recommendations on the 2021 Wildfire Mitigation Plan Updates for Large Investor-Owned Utilities are available at

The recommendations address five key topics. A brief overview is provided below: 

Risk Assessment and Resource Allocation

  • More information on decision-making based on modeling outcomes
  • Scientific review of models and a centralized database for data input into the models

Vegetation Management

  • Evaluating ecosystem and climate change impacts of tree removals
  • Assessing the environmental impact of vegetation management practices
  • Creating a database of tree species

System Design and Grid Hardening

  • Emerging technology that reduces the size of arcs, decreases the risk of ignition, quickly recognizes faults and reduces catastrophic wildfire risk; further exploring lessons learned from other regions with high wind events
  • Improved reporting on workforce training
  • Using qualified power workers for all inspections
  • Deenergizing and documenting idle lines and equipment
  • Tracking G.O. 95 exempt equipment
  • Concerns about PG&E’s reduced grid hardening

Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)

  • Modeling to prioritize mitigation measures and reduce PSPS
  • Improving PSPS data collection for analysis and learning
  • Short and long-term studies on PSPS and mitigation measures

Emergency Planning and Communication

  • Consider IOUs expanded outreach in 2020 compared with 2019
  • Awareness of utility efforts to quantify outreach to stakeholders and customers
  • More information on the metrics used to evaluate customer and stakeholder feedback 

The April 14, 2021 Board meeting can be viewed at Additional information is available at

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