Wildfire Mitigation Efforts in Oregon
Wildfire prevention is an important issue for Oregon's electricity sector and the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC). California wildfires in 2017 and 2018, and the resulting devastation linked to the electric system highlighted the importance of working to prevent and detect threats early to minimize future wildfires and their impact. The recent wildfires in Oregon further demonstrated the need for continued efforts to enhance wildfire mitigation strategies.
On August 25, 2020, the PUC initiated an informal rulemaking process (Docket No. AR 638) to address electric utility risk-based wildfire protection plans. The rulemaking process will work to incorporate the recommendations of the Governor's Council on Wildfire Response and the guidance issued in the Governor's Executive Order 20-04.
As part of this process, the PUC is seeking broad public engagement to identify issues of concern and receive feedback on potential wildfire protection plan rules ahead of initiating a formal rulemaking process. Members of the public interested in following or participating in this docket should subscribe to the docket to receive update notifications by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about how to get involved, go to https://www.oregon.gov/puc/news-events/Pages/Get-Involved.aspx.
PUC Wildfire Events & Activities
The PUC works to encourage dialogue between utilities, subject matter experts, as well as local, regional and state leadership to share perspectives and evolving approaches to the rapidly changing wildfire risk and its impact on electric utilities, their customers, and the communities they serve.
Oregon Wildfire & Electric Collaborative
In March 2020, Governor Brown signed Executive Order 20-04, which required the PUC to evaluate regulated utilities' wildfire protection plans and convene workshops to mitigate wildfire risks. Learn about the Oregon Wildfire & Electric Collaborative
for information about those workshops.
Regulated Utilities Report Following 2020 Wildfires
In October 2020, the PUC hosted a special public meeting to hear from regulated electric, natural gas, telecommunications and water utilities on a high level how they planned for, responded to, and prepared to build back after the Labor Day windstorm and wildfires. Review the agenda
or view the meeting
for presentations by select regulated utilities.
Wildfire Mitigation Plan Reports from Electric Utilities
In 2019 and 2020, the PUC directed PGE and PacifiCorp to report on their wildfire mitigation plans and additional steps taken to address the evolving risks.
West Coast Utility Commissions - Wildfire Dialogue
The PUC hosted utility regulatory commissioners from British Columbia, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in August 2019 to share lessons learned, emerging best practices, and actions taken throughout the region.