On Monday, RCRC sent a letter to the newly established Wildfire Safety Division for electric utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans for 2020-2022. RCRC has been a party to the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) formal proceeding since March 2019, which is beginning to transition to a new process pursuant to Assembly Bill 1054 (2019). AB 1054 established a Wildfire Safety Division and created a Wildfire Safety Advisory Board to review and approve utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans on a three-year basis.
RCRC’s comments on these Plans outlined lessons learned in 2019, inspections and maintenance issues, system hardening, vegetation management, Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS), situational awareness, emergency preparedness—including outreach and response—and finally metrics and monitoring. RCRC advocated for utilities to proactively consult with local governments on many fronts from vegetation management efforts to establishing community resource centers at fixed facilities, but most acutely prior to, during and after PSPS events.