SoCal Edison Sees Spending $1.7 Billion on Wildfire Prevention This Year

SoCal Edison Sees Spending $1.7 Billion on Wildfire Prevention This Year

Edison International’s Southern California Edison said it plans to spend about $1.7 billion this year on work to reduce the risk of its electrical equipment sparking wildfires during dry and windy conditions. 

The Southern California utility giant will continue inspection, tree clearing and grid hardening efforts including installing an additional 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) of covered overhead power lines in high fire risk areas, according to an updated annual fire prevention plan filed Friday with a state agency. In addition, the utility said it will study about 1,900 miles of power line for the potential need for more risk reduction measures including undergrounding in certain areas. 

California started requiring electric utilities to file annual fire prevention plans that must be reviewed and approved by the state after power equipment was blamed for starting several catastrophic wildfires. Southern California Edison estimates it has reduced the risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires by 65% to 70% since 2018.  

State officials are bracing for another potentially severe fire season after California recorded its driest January since 1984 and remains in the grip of a multi-year drought. 

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