The Canadian Electricity Association Identifies Best Practices to Mitigate Wildfire Risk in New Report

Today the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) released the Utility Wildfire Mitigation Guide” prepared by CEA’s Best Practices Transmission Committee. This document provides guidance on reducing or eliminating ignitions and promoting industry resilience to wildfires for the electricity industry in Canada. By identifying risk factors and trends in wildfire data across Canada, utilities can share and execute proactive prevention strategies to decrease the threat to public safety, the environment and essential services.

“Over the past few years, our members have witnessed first-hand the destruction caused by wildfires in our communities and the disruption caused to the grid and utility assets. The aftermath of events such as the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires inspired CEA to develop this guide specifically for electric utilities. By creating a proactive approach to wildfire damage prevention, we can further ensure the delivery of safe, sustainable and reliable electricity to customers across Canada,” comments Francis Bradley, CEA President and CEO.

Wildfire seasons are getting longer due to climate change. Research conducted by Natural Resources Canada, identified a significant increase in the area burned since 1959. At the same time, the number of large fires has doubled over the past 57 years in Canada.

“The Canadian Electricity Association’s Utility Wildfire Mitigation Guide is an excellent example of how the Canadian electricity sector is working together to identify, develop and adopt industry best practices to prevent wildfires,” comments Gary Hart, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of AltaLink, and Chair of CEA’s Transmission Council. “With the frequency and intensity of wildfires continuing to increase, electricity companies are operating in an increasingly heightened risk environment. It will be important for the sector to continue to identify and pursue opportunities for improvement to ensure the safety of our customers and the reliability of Canada’s electricity system.”

“This Wildfire Mitigation Guide is a collaborative approach to set the foundation for wildfire mitigation activities performed by utilities in Canada. It is important to be aligned on the available practices to prevent catastrophic wildfires amidst a trend of increasing wildfire risk and extreme weather,” says Paul Lee, Vice President of System Operations at AltaLink.

A copy of the Utility Wildfire Mitigation Guide is available here.

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About the Canadian Electricity Association

Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada every day. From vertically integrated electric utilities, independent power producers, transmission and distribution companies, to power marketers, to the manufacturers and suppliers of materials, technology and services that keep the industry running smoothly -all are represented by this national industry association.

For additional Information:

Sarah Robinson
Director, Communications and Marketing
613.301.8526
robinson@electricity.ca