With the recent high winds and SCE turning off power so their high power lines don’t spark a fire, you wonder how we got here? Well, it started back in October 2007 when wildfires driven by strong Santa Ana winds burned hundreds of square miles in Southern California. Some of the worst wildfires were reportedly ignited by overhead utility power lines. In response to the wildfires, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) started a plan to adopt regulations to protect the public from potential fire hazards associated with overhead powerline facilities and nearby aerial communication facilities. The CPUC also commenced the development of a single statewide fire-threat map to designate areas where there is an elevated risk for destructive power line fires and where stricter fire safety regulations should apply.
Fast forward to December 21, 2017, the CPUC issued Decision (D.) 17-12-024 adopting regulations to enhance fire safety in the new High Fire-Threat District (HFTD), and on January 19, 2018 the CPUC adopted the final Fire-Threat Map. Together with the map of Tier 1 High Hazard Zones (HHZs) on the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) – California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) joint map of tree mortality HHZs, comprise the HFTD Map where stricter fire safety regulations apply.
Click below to read more, check out the maps, use the interactive GIS web viewer, and even download GIS data.