Utility Wildfire Mitigation Maturity Model

Jan. 20, 2021
This webinar covers the evolution of the wildfire mitigation program at Black Hills Energy.

While California continues to gain most of the media coverage due to utility-caused catastrophic wildfires, conditions exist in many other parts of the country where utilities face similar risks and liabilities from their systems and operations. To address this need, Black Hills Energy (BHE) contracted with ECI and its multi-disciplinary team of wildfire subject matter experts to support the development of strategic, tactical and operational programs aimed at mitigating wildfire threats on its electrical system. BHE’s generates 939 MW and transmits and distributes electricity over 8,892 mile of line to approximately 214,000 electric utility customers in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming.

This webinar covers the early stages of BHE’s journey in assessing its wildfire risk, identifying mitigation opportunities, prioritizing and planning its mitigation efforts, and instilling a fire safe culture at BHE as it implements a variety of wildfire risk mitigation initiatives. The session also covers the California Public Utility Commission’s Utility Wildfire Mitigation Maturity Model.


Tim Madsen is the Manager of Asset Programs for Black Hills Energy located in Rapid City, South Dakota. Tim has 20 plus years of asset-based experience in the T&D electric utility and communication business. His last twelve years have included development of systems, processes and procedures for ROW/Easement documents, joint use, maintenance and asset inspection of T&D facilities. Tim has helped lead Black Hills Energy in developing asset inspection programs such as Line Patrol, LiDAR, virtual inspections, Pole Inspection, and others. Tim has held many management positions within several businesses, at Black Hills Energy his management responsibilities have included GIS, third party pole attachments, vegetation management, inspection programs, outage management system (OMS) and recently wildfire risk mitigation efforts. Tim continues to be highly focused on wildfire mitigation activities at Black Hills Energy where wildfire risk mitigation is a very high priority initiative comprising a wide variety of aspects including the Company inspection activities, vegetation management, material/equipment specifications, protective device setting and numerous others. 

Steve Dunn, Director of Asset Programs for Black Hills Energy. 

Ryan Brockbank is a Senior Vice President of Consulting and Environmental Services at ECI. He responsible for leading the development, growth, and successful execution of ECI’s consulting services, including utility wildfire risk mitigation consulting, utility vegetation management (UVM) consulting, and environmental services. Mr. Brockbank has over 26 years of experience in the areas of UVM operations, environmental and UVM consulting, and professional contract personnel support, management, and advancement. Ryan previously served as President of Western ECI and Chief Operating Officer of ECI and was responsible for the oversight and direction of field operations, safety, and training and lead one of the nation’s largest groups of professionals involved in assisting utilities to successfully and sustainably manage their infrastructure and natural resources.

This webinar was sponsored by ECI as part of the T&D World Wildfire & Risk Mitigation Conference in December 2020. 

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