Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is actively using helicopters to conduct power line maintenance as part of its efforts to prevent wildfires. Recently, BPA’s wildfire mitigation measures were highlighted during work conducted on the North Bonneville-Troutdale 230 kV transmission corridor near Washougal, Washington.
The maintenance work involved installing new insulators on transmission towers in Washougal. This process is crucial as damaged equipment can potentially cause sparks, and faults along the lines can generate hot electrical arcs, posing a significant fire hazard.
In response to the devastating wildfires that have affected communities in California, BPA developed a comprehensive Wildfire Mitigation Plan in 2020. The plan aims to proactively reduce the risk of BPA’s electrical infrastructure being associated with the ignition or spread of wildfires. Notably, throughout its nearly 85-year history, BPA’s equipment has not been the source of any major wildfires.