Recent Colorado wildfires have emphasized the need for increased wildland fire mitigation efforts. SMPA has applied a thoughtful approach in developing a strategy to mitigate utility-posed wildland fire risks. SMPA’s sole intent is to minimize the presence of electrical sparks and arcs as a source of ignition. Our wildfire mitigation plan is part of a larger, ongoing strategic effort to improve the reliability and resiliency of our electric system.
SMPA's highest priority is the safety of all who live and work near our power lines. This outreach message explains what we do to prevent wildfires in our service territory, and how these strategies help.
CREA Wildfire Mitigation and Vegetation Management Report
Colorado’s electric cooperatives provide electric service to over 70% of the landmass of the state of Colorado. The purpose of WILDFIRE MITIGATION AND VEGETATION MANAGEMENT report is to outline policy options for reducing wildfire risk in Colorado’s electric cooperative service territory and throughout Colorado.
Risk Evaluation and Situational Awareness
We have identified areas within our service territory that are rated by the Colorado State Forest Service as elevated fire-threat areas. In these areas, we are conducting enhanced safety inspections as well as initiating prescription associated with additional vegetation clearing and various system operation protection options.
The SMPA distribution system is monitored 24/7 by System Technicians and our contracted dispatch personnel. These operators also have access to real-time metering data as well as outage status across the system with our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). System faults are detected and identified nearly instantaneously, and crews are dispatched efficiently.
SMPA Wildfire Mitigation (What We Do)
As your cooperative, SMPA takes safety seriously and has continuously engaged in proactive risk mitigation efforts to prevent the ignition and growth of wildfires due to its infrastructure. Our goal is the safety of our members and the protection of the communities they live in.
System Settings and Preparedness:
Our electric grid continues to improve with advancement in technology. System engineers have developed system modes of operations and procedures to follow the various stages of heightened wildfire risk. These modes of operation reduce the risk of wildfire occurring from cooperative power lines or equipment. In addition to operational preparedness, SMPA personnel carry extra equipment during field operations to improve response to wildfire situations.