How PSE prepares
Over the past decade, wildfires have emerged as a significant public health and safety concern for much of the Western United States. Puget Sound Energy is taking a comprehensive approach to mitigating the evolving risk of wildfires, working to ensure safety while maintaining the reliable delivery of energy.
PSE’s Wildfire Mitigation and Response Plan documents our year-round efforts to prepare for and help prevent wildfires in PSE’s service area, including:
- Situational Awareness: PSE evaluates the condition of the electric system, as well as the environment around it, using real-time weather data, wildfire risk modeling and pre-wildfire season inspections.
- Strengthening the electric system: PSE regularly maintains and updates the electric system to provide safe and reliable power to our customers. In areas of high wildfire risk, we identify maintenance and improvement activities that will further reduce the risk of wildfire, including vegetation management, equipment upgrades, and in some cases, moving power lines underground.
- Operational Procedures: During wildfire season, PSE may change some device settings or implement operational procedures to reduce the risk of wildfire. In the future, PSE may proactively turn off power during high wildfire risk conditions to help prevent wildfires. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
- Emergency Response: During an emergency, including an active wildfire, PSE will coordinate with local emergency officials and may implement emergency response procedures. This may include turning off power at the request of emergency officials for public and first responder safety.
How you can prepare for wildfire season
- Make sure your PSE account contact information is up to date.
- If you have medical equipment in your home that relies on electricity, call PSE’s Customer Care team at 1-888-225-5773 and they can walk you through the process to add a Life Support status to your account.
- Create and practice a family emergency plan.
- Build an emergency kit with a collection of basic items your family might need in the event of an emergency, including food, water and medications.
- Sign up for emergency notifications from your county Emergency Management agency and the National Weather Service.
- Clear brush or other flammable items from around your home to create defensible space.
- Maintain the trees on your property. Please contact PSE prior to pruning or removing trees near overhead lines. We’ll send out a PSE-certified arborist to evaluate the utility lines at no cost to you.
- When landscaping, select fire-resistant plants and locate trees a safe distance from power lines and other equipment.
- Explore community wildfire resilience resources from the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Wildfire Ready Neighbors program.
- If you notice a tree that is dangerously close to overhead power lines, please call your local arborist or fill out our contact form and we'll send out a PSE-certified arborist to investigate at no cost to you.
Remember, if you come across a downed utility wire of any kind, always assume it’s energized and stay as far away as you can. Call 911 or call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 to report the downed line.
- Wildfire preparedness fact sheet - English | Español
- Vegetation management and wildfire risk fact sheet
- Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
- PSE tree trimming information
- Prepare for a power outage
- PSE alerts and advisories
- Department of Natural Resources: Wildfire Ready Neighbors
- Challenge Seattle Report: “Are Mega-Wildfires Our New Normal?”
Public Safety Power Shutoff
During high-risk weather conditions, some utilities proactively turn off selected power lines to reduce the wildfire risk. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). PSE is currently developing PSPS as part of our Wildfire Mitigation and Response Plan.