The four seasons of vegetation risk
Climates vary from state to state, country to country, in differing degrees but all four seasons bring unique risks for T&D network operators trying to manage vegetation risk. The lightning strikes of summer storms coupled with the season’s tinder dry conditions heightens risk of wildfire, winter brings snow, with the additional weight on branches increasing breakage and therefore risk; spring signals thaw and resultant floods as well as rapid vegetation growth that is hard to stay on top of; and fall brings a shower of fallen – often dry – leaves and fire risk with it.
Nature doesn’t work according to predictable or convenient timetables and a utility has to ensure it has the tools and systems in place to cover large distances of ground in fine detail to effectively manage and stay ahead of the risks.
With 2020 on track to be one of the hottest years on record, the National Interagency Fire Center has warned of increased fire risk across America’s West Coast. While Arizona tackles the fifth largest fire in the state’s history, Washington and Oregon are preparing for the highest increase in wildfires versus the annual average of anywhere in the US.
Author: Paul Frey, Chief Operations Officer at Sharper Shape