Community Fire Safety Program

We've created a Community Fire Safety Program working with representatives from 40 different groups, including water districts, schools, the County of San Diego, fire agencies, telecommunications companies, disability rights groups and residents. Together, we've ensured that proper communication measures are in place in the event of any emergency situation.

Collaboration with Local Agencies

Collaboration with local agencies has taken place for many years and has helped increased resources, including

SDG&E grants help fire agencies get new state-of-the-art equipment, including upgraded maps and radios, self-contained breathing units, medical equipment, and mobile computers on fire engines.

Critical technology has been developed and data is shared with other agencies.

Investments to the electric system so it’s more resilient against severe weather and wildfires.

SDG&E Aircrane

The Erickson Aircrane is a vital tool to fight wildfires in San Diego.  Last year was the eighth-year the company has contracted to use the Aircrane.

The Aircrane is an impressive machine, holding a maximum of 2,650 gallons of water or fire suppressant – the equivalent of five fire engines. It can be airborne within 15 minutes, and takes only 45 seconds to refill its tank. Over the last eight-plus years it has made more than 820 water drops. That’s over half a million gallons of water dropped to protect our homes, businesses and communities.

Bringing back the Aircrane for another fire season is just one of the many enhancements we, and our partners, have made over the years to improve wildfire readiness. Working collaboratively with the County, local jurisdictions and the state is key to ensuring our communities are as safe as possible.

Caroline Winn, chief operating officer for SDG&E

Safe and Reliable Operations

We take our responsibility to operate the electric grid very seriously. If conditions threaten the integrity of our system, we will turn off power to protect public safety. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration include the circumstances of the emergency, wind speed measurements, temperature, humidity, field observations by SDG&E crews and information from fire agencies.

While some homes may be located where there is not high winds, other parts of the line or circuit serving homes may be located in an area experiencing gusty wind conditions that require a power shutoff as a safety measure.

Before power is restored, field crews patrol lines and deem them safe to re-energize. When patrolling, crews look for safety hazards like downed power lines, debris, tree branches caught on lines, or broken hardware. If damage is found, repairs must be made first.

Advanced Wireless Communications Network

SDG&E is building a more intelligent, modern electric grid that benefits our customers by delivering safe, clean and reliable energy. The new Distribution Communications Reliability Improvement (DCRI) project will improve the wireless communications network used to monitor and control the distribution of electricity. This private, wireless network makes high-speed communications to electric substations, customer meters and other advanced devices a reality, and paves the way for expanding devices on SDG&E's smart grid. The DCRI network will be built over the next 5 – 7 years.

The high-speed DCRI network will be used by our falling conductor protection (FCP) technology. FCP can de-energize a powerline before it hits the ground preventing possible ignition which can start a wildfire. FCP also helps prevent accidental electrical contact from downed powerlines.

DCRI will improve telecommunications reliability, enhance wildfire protection and improve network availability, reliability and coverage. This added network capacity will also help with the adoption of smart grid technologies.

Additional Wildfire Safety Resources

Alert SDG&E Cameras

In collaboration with UCSD and the University of Nevada, Reno, these high-definition cameras improve fire detection through a live-streaming view of San Diego’s most fire-prone areas.

Meteorologists

Our team of four full-time meteorologists help us make informed operational decisions. They’re constantly analyzing weather data and providing microclimate forecasts to our electric system operators.

Vegetation Management

Our fire protection efforts extend to a comprehensive vegetation management program. Arborists, tree trimmers and pole brush experts maintain clearances around 460,000 trees and brush is cleared around 30,000 poles.

Our comprehensive fire-risk mitigation program helps protect our customers, communities and stakeholders. And we stay committed to continuing our collaborative and proactive approach into the future.