A recently installed wildfire camera on Eagle Ridge.
A recently installed wildfire camera on Eagle Ridge.
RENO — In keeping with its commitment to protect customers and the environment from the threat of natural disasters, NV Energy is working to improve situational awareness of fire and other weather-related threats by installing wildfire cameras and weather stations in natural disaster risk zones across its service territory.

NV Energy is partnering with the University of Nevada, Reno Seismological Lab, to install the wildfire cameras. To date, six cameras have been installed and four cameras will be added over the next few months. The cameras help reduce the risk of wildfires, assist with early detection and response, and provide situational awareness during fire incidents. 

These cameras will complement the growing ALERTWildfire network of fire cameras throughout the western United States, and be accessible to fire agencies and other utilities for fire mitigation efforts.  The ALERTWildfire network of cameras is run by a consortium of three universities: University of Nevada, Reno, UC San Diego, and University of Oregon.

Thirty weather stations are installed in areas of NV Energy’s service territory that have been identified as high for natural disaster risk. These weather stations provide readings on temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind gusts, wind direction, precipitation, fuel moisture, and other parameters that will be integrated into NV Energy’s operations. 

The data collected will be used for obtaining better weather forecasts, analyzing fire risk potential, understanding potential impacts on the electric grid and evaluating Public Safety Outage Management (PSOM) criteria. PSOM is proactive de-energization for safety in extreme fire-risk zones when certain environmental conditions are met and an evaluation of risk is done with guidance from local fire agencies, emergency management teams and other stakeholders. A PSOM event will only be used as a last resort to help reduce the risk of wildfire.

“The information we gain from these cameras and weather stations provide critical information to aid not just in NV Energy’s response, but the response of local, state and national fire agencies including Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, by helping isolate fire ignition confirmation and providing continuous situational awareness during fire incidents,” said Mark Regan, NV Energy Fire Mitigation Specialist.

Installing wildfire cameras and weather stations is one component of NV Energy’s Natural Disaster Protection Plan. The plan also outlines other components of NV Energy work to reduce the risks of natural disasters including extensive system inspections and repairs, enhanced vegetation management practices, equipment replacement and infrastructure additions. For more information visit nvenergy.com/wildfiresafety.