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Wildfire Safety & Prevention

UniSource electric employees work year-round to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires that can threaten public safety, destroy property and cause power outages, reducing the reliability of electric service for customers.

We continually inspect, maintain, repair and upgrade our equipment. We patrol and manage transmission line routes to ensure that vegetation does not encroach on electric infrastructure. We also monitor wildfires near our equipment and work closely with state and federal authorities during wildfire events.

Prevention

UniSource maintains an active vegetation management program within its service territory.

Vegetation management crews work full-time throughout the year to trim trees and other vegetation that could create fire risks near lower-voltage distribution equipment. Employees conduct a visual inspection of all lower-voltage distribution facilities every two years to identify equipment in need of maintenance and vegetation in need of trimming.

Most of UniSource’s electric service territory is located in urban areas or unforested desert landscape.

In the Nogales area, UniSource crews perform targeted visual inspections twice a year of transmission facilities located in forested areas. 138 kilovolt (kV) transmission facilities are patrolled by helicopter twice a year.

In the Kingman and Lake Havasu City areas, UniSource’s 69 kilovolt (kV) lines are also patrolled by helicopter.

Preparation and Response

UniSource maintains strong relationships with state, federal and tribal agencies to facilitate communication about potential hazards and active wildfires.

UniSource employees will respond to incident command sites as needed to coordinate with firefighting agencies when fires burn near company resources.

UniSource’s Electric System

  • 56 circuit-miles of 115 kilovolt transmission lines
  • 270 circuit-miles of 69 kilovolt transmission lines
  • 3,600 circuit-miles of underground and overhead distribution lines
  • Approximately 40 substations