Year Round Maintenance, New Technology Increase APS Wildfire Resilience

APS utilizes layers of protection to prevent, reduce and respond to wildfires


PHOENIX – Across a sprawling network of more than 38,000 miles of power lines, APS crews are on the front lines year-round conducting patrols – on foot, by vehicle and in the air – to protect and maintain a strong and resilient energy system. With Arizona’s hot summers, low rainfall and dry vegetation, APS is taking more action to support wildfire-prone communities by installing innovative fire and weather tracking technology on its grid and enhancing its robust wildfire mitigation program.


“We’ve developed industry-leading best practices over the past decade to help safeguard the communities we serve and our infrastructure from Arizona’s changing climate,” said Scott Bordenkircher, APS Forestry and Fire Mitigation Director. “As a hometown energy provider, we have a responsibility to do what we can to prevent wildfires and we are thoughtfully investing in resources to include greater protection for the public, firefighters, our employees and the electric grid.”

How does APS help reduce wildfire risk?

APS takes steps year-round to help prevent, reduce and respond to wildfires including:


Innovative Technology

  • Installing new weather stations on power lines to track weather patterns that could cause a fire;
  • Using new advanced cameras on electrical equipment to monitor potential signs of a fire from a command center;
  • Modeling data and utilizing advanced software to inform predictions about fire probability and which direction a particular wildfire is likely to travel; and
  • Incorporating drone technology to assess areas where vegetation may grow into power lines.

Preventative Maintenance

  • Strengthening power poles in higher-risk fire areas with fire mesh to shield equipment from fire damage;
  • Clearing at least 10 feet of space of potentially hazardous vegetation, like weeds, brush, branches and trees from power poles, substations and other electrical equipment; and
  • Inspecting on average 40,000 power poles per year to ensure they are clear of hazards.

Collaboration and Expertise

  • Creating a meteorological team to track hazardous weather conditions and wildfires and provide guidance about emergency response;
  • Collaborating with fire authorities and emergency response agencies on emergency preparedness and response plans to keep Arizonans, their pets, livestock and property safe;
  • Ongoing training and education for specialized APS fire mitigation experts who have experience working on hot shot crews and respond to wildfires in partnership with firefighters; and
  • Under extreme weather conditions and in a limited approach, utilizing Public Safety Power Shutoffs to maintain the safety of people, communities and firefighters.

How can Arizonans prepare?

While APS crews prepare year-round, customers can take the following steps to be ready:

  • Remove overgrown vegetation, trash or debris around your property.
  • Build an emergency supplies kit that includes items such as non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries and a portable cell phone charger. Have a plan and emergency contact list 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.
  • Sign up for your county’s emergency alert system.

For more information on APS’s wildfire prevention programs, visit aps.com/wildfires.


Fire burn scar

APS serves more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering affordable, clean and reliable energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’s current energy mix is 51% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

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