Wildfire Mitigation for Utilities: Central & Eastern Region

Wildfire Mitigation for Utilities: Central & Eastern Region

June 15, 2021 | Online :: Central Time

While California continues to be in the news for utility-caused catastrophic wildfires, utilities in the central and eastern regions of North America face similar risks and liabilities from their systems and operations. Fires are bigger and more common than they were 35 years ago, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Electrical companies operating in wildfire-prone areas will face significant risks. Utilities must take measures to reduce exposure and mitigate financial liability.

This symposium brings together wildfire subject matter experts to discuss strategic programs for mitigating wildfire in the electrical system setting. Scientists, weather forecasters, and environmentalists are working to develop innovative techniques to apply to a changing wildfire landscape.

Attend this online symposium for the latest information on:

  • Infrastructure Enhancements to Reduce Risk of Wildfires
  • Key Objectives of Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans
  • Wildland-Urban Interface and Challenges of Vegetation Management

At EUCI’s virtual Wildfire Mitigation for Utilities – Central & Eastern Symposium utility and industry professionals, wildfire experts, and thought leaders will inform and engage each other about the challenges of wildfires and share their best practices and lessons learned, as well as share cutting-edge technology.

Learning Outcomes

This virtual summit will provide attendees an opportunity to:

  • Examine wildfire mitigation planning efforts within Central and Eastern regions of North Amercia
  • Review best practices on how to prepare wildfire mitigation plans
  • Develop strategies for grid hardening
  • Discuss Situational Awareness Strategies so that utilities can be prepared for wildfire events
  • Examine the challenges of wildland-urban interface and vegetation management
  • Identify lessons learned from California utilities
  • Explore new and traditional ways of forecasting and planning for wildfire risk
  • Discover new technological advancements and tools for wildfire mitigation
  • Demonstrate how to be proactive in wildfire planning and prevention

Instructional Methods

Case Studies, Panel Discussions and PowerPoint presentations will be used in the program.

Who Should Attend

Individuals working in the following areas will benefit from attending this event:

  • Electric Utility Leaders
  • Utility Risk Management Professionals
  • Utility Grid Planning and Operations Specialists
  • Utility Transmission and Field Services Personnel
  • State and Federal Agencies
  • Mitigation Specialists
  • Policy makers
  • Researchers
  • Corporate Communications Specialists
  • Insurers
  • Consultants
  • Fire Prevention & Mitigation Technology Providers

Agenda

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 : Central Time

 

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 – 9:05 a.m.
Welcome Remarks

9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Course Timing

9:05 – 10:15 a.m. :: Wildfire Risk for Utilities

Wildfire indices suggest the potential for more frequent and severe fires across the U.S. It is imperative for utilities to develop an action plan for increasing fire threats and to ensure efforts are building toward increased resiliency. This session will detail wildfire risk assessment and modeling by the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Yan Feng, Principal Atmospheric and Climate Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Infrastructure Enhancements to Reduce Risk of Wildfires

This session will cover the enhancement programs that are most effective and the barriers utilities face in these efforts.

  • What pole risk mitigation and wire safety enhancement programs are most effective?
  • What are the costs and time allotment for these efforts?

Randy Lyle, Principal, Wildfire Mitigation Strategies & Former Director of Fire Science and Climate Adaptation at SDG&E

Joe Scott, Founder & Principal Analyst, Pyrologix

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Lunch break

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. :: Fire Weather Overview

Fire weather services within NOAA assists Fire Agencies with decision support information needed to be proactive in anticipating significant fire weather events. NOAA National Weather Service provides the fire weather component of the “Fire Triangle” of Fuels, Weather and Topography. During this session, a meteorologist will give a report on National Weather Service products, expectations for the longer term fire weather outlook and describe current limitations within the realm of fire weather forecasting.

Heath Hockenberry, Executive Board, National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG); National Fire Weather Program Manager, National Weather Service

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. :: Case Study: Wildfire Risk and Grid Resilience in the West

Utilities in fire-prone regions are working to minimize risk of infrastructure causing catastrophic events. This session will cover integration efforts in operations, situational awareness, and customer outreach as implemented by IOU’s in the West.

Shaun Gahagan, Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Technological Enhancements and Tools for Utilities

This session will be a showcase featuring a series of presentations and/or case studies spotlighting the latest tech and tools available for utilities that will simplify forecasting, communication, operational decision-making, and modeling fire behavior.

Shawn Bethel, Director of Business Development, FTS

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. :: Wildland–Urban Interface and Challenges of Vegetation Management

Increased development in the wildland urban interface (WUI) has resulted in higher fire risk and more suppression needs, costing billions every year. Vegetation management is a critical issue. It is one of the largest expense items associated with maintaining overhead transmission and distribution systems. NERC sets vegetation management requirements for transmission, but clearance requirements differ from state to state. This session will discuss best practices for these critical steps in wildfire mitigation. 

Sean Triplett, Branch Leader for Tools & Technology, NIFC, US Forest Service

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. :: Culture Changes for Operational Fire Prevention

Many utilities are making technological enhancements to minimize the threat of wildfires, but operational procedures, supplemental inspection, and maintenance work enhancements must be addressed as well.

Steven Dunn, Manager of Asset Programs, Black Hills Energy

4:30 – 4:45 p.m. :: Open Q&A

Speakers

  • Shawn Bethel, Director of Business Development, FTS

  • Steven Dunn, Manager of Asset Programs, Black Hills Energy

  • Yan Feng, Principal Atmospheric and Climate Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

  • Shaun Gahagan, Wildfire Mitigation Program Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric

  • Heath Hockenberry, Executive Board, National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG); National Fire Weather Program Manager, National Weather Service

  • Randy Lyle, Principal, Wildfire Mitigation Strategies & Former Director of Fire Science and Climate Adaptation at SDG&E

  • Joe Scott, Founder & Principal Analyst, Pyrologix

  • Sean Triplett, Branch Leader for Tools & Technology, NIFC, US Forest Service

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

Register

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees

CEUs

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.4 CEUs for this course.

Requirements For Successful Completion Of Program

Participants must log on each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.

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