Customers can take easy steps to prevent wildfires, prepare for emergencies
PHOENIX – The theme for this year’s Southwest Wildfire Awareness Week (March 26 – April 1) is ‘Preparing Together’ and APS is teaming up with public safety agencies to get the word out about how you can prepare for and prevent wildfires. While APS works to reduce wildfires year-round and partners with firefighters, this week is an opportunity to encourage people to take simple steps to protect their communities. Attention is often on forested areas in northern Arizona, but other parts of the state where wildland landscapes meet urban areas are also vulnerable to fire risk.
“Each year, we see fire risk grow from the mountains deeper into urban areas. Wildfire seasons are becoming more and more unpredictable and it’s important we all do our part to keep communities safe,” said Wade Ward, APS Fire Mitigation Supervisor. “At APS, we work hand-in-hand with firefighters, develop plans to reduce fire risk, make upgrades to keep our grid resilient and partner with homeowners and businesses to be prepared.”
In addition to partnering with state and federal agencies, APS’s fire preparedness strategy includes:
- Inspecting more than 18,000 miles of power lines and clearing overgrown vegetation.
- Clearing at least 10’ of defensible space around infrastructure, poles and substations in the wildland urban interface.
- Collaborating with emergency response agencies on emergency preparedness plans.
- Installing advanced power grid technology to manage wildfire risks.
- Updating outage restoration protocols to reduce fire risk during elevated fire conditions.
Arizonans can take simple steps at home to protect their communities and be prepared:
- Remove overgrown vegetation, trash, or debris around your home. Clear vegetation around poles or other electrical equipment on your property.
- Build a go-kit with supplies, such as non-perishable food items, water, flashlights, batteries and a portable cell phone charger. Have a plan and emergency contacts ready.
- Download the APS app or visit aps.com/OutageCenter and create an online account to receive text or email alerts and safety tips in case of a power outage.
- Update your contact information with APS to ensure you receive important information.
While APS crews work to restore power as quickly as possible, the safety of the public, first responders and our crews takes precedence. During an active fire, power lines may be temporarily taken out of service to protect firefighters and so APS crews can safely inspect lines and remove vegetation or potential hazards near electrical equipment. This could result in outages that may last longer than usual. To learn more, visit aps.com/WildfireSafety.