Utility Wildfire Safety
Healdsburg Electric Department's Wildfire Mitigation Plan
Over the last few years, devastating and destructive wildfires driven by climate change have had a significant impact on California and the areas surrounding Healdsburg. These changes in our climate coupled with increased housing in and adjacent to wildland-urban interfaces (WUI) now require electric utilities to rethink their past operational procedures and construction standards. Under the new laws, every publicly owned utility must prepare and present a Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP) to its governing body annually.
Get Updates During an Emergency
During a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event, power outage, or other critical incident, the City of Healdsburg's Municipal Utility Department may need to contact you.
Click here to update your information.
- How does the City of Healdsburg get its electric power?
- Can the City guarantee power because we have our own electric utility?
As with most things, there are no guarantees; this includes the supply of electric power. Planned maintenance, birds, squirrels, weather events, and the occasional car accident can cause power outages and customers should be prepared for these events. We do provide 24/7 on-call staff coverage to speed outage restoration after-hours and our maintenance and repair programs tend to prevent many outages from occurring. The emergency Utility Hotline can be reached by calling (707) 431-7000 or toll free at (855) 755-6586.
- Who do I call if I experience a power outage or other utility-related emergency or issue?
Call (707) 431-7000 or (855) 755-6586. You will be asked to enter your account’s phone number including the area code. Select the appropriate reason for your call and a live representative will assist you with your problem.
- How is the City preparing for the increasing threat of wildfires?
The City has and continues to implement best practices such as constant patrolling of electric lines, annual inspections, installing new equipment, and line clearance tree trimming. For example, the City completed system hardening work along North Fitch Mountain Road. This work strengthened the poles and wires while also moving conductors further away from trees. View the Wildfire Mitigation Plan for more information.
- Will the City turn off electric power should a fire or a high-wind event occur in Healdsburg?
If there is a safety concern, the City will assess the situation and may shut down (de-energize) portions of the power lines. Power outages in Healdsburg are rare and the City’s proactive work – such as ongoing tree trimming and overhead line maintenance -- significantly reduces the need to de-energize lines, but electric outages and public-safety power shutdowns are still a possibility.
- What areas within Healdsburg are most likely to be affected by public-safety power shutdowns?
The areas most likely to experience power shutdowns are along the western slope of the ridge east of the golf course and adjacent to the City’s open spaces. These areas are within the City’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and by their nature have increased vegetation and risk of wildfire.
- How will the City’s electric customers know if there is a public-safety power shutdown?
If the City needs to de-energize power lines in the event of a disaster such as a wildfire, the City will make every effort to communicate those shutdowns in advance via tools including NIXLE, emergency alerts on the City’s website, social media, and automated phone calls. The City is taking preventative measures to lessen or avoid the need for power shutdowns.
- How do I know if the City has my most up-to-date contact information, including my cell phone number?
City utility customers can update their contact information by calling (707) 431-7000 or toll-free (855) 755-6586. You will be prompted to enter your phone number including the area code. Select option 2 and a live representative will assist you in updating your billing information.
- As a customer, what should I do to prepare for a power outage?
- PG&E is stating that they will de-energize portions of California’s transmission systems when wildfires occur. How will this affect Healdsburg?
The state’s transmission grid, a series of high-voltage power lines, is extremely reliable. The City does depend on PG&E’s transmission system to power the City’s sub-station, but the primary transmission feed does not run through fire-threat zones (Tier 2 or 3). While the City did lose its transmission source during the 2019 Kincade Fire, shutting down transmission lines is rare and citywide power outages are very unlikely.
- How fast will power be restored after a public-safety power shutdown?
It depends on the specific situation – it could be a few hours, 24 hours, or longer. Regardless of the reason for the power outage, the City will take every safe and sensible step to restore power as soon as possible. During widespread outages, the City will provide status updates through social media and NIXLE alerts of estimated times to restore power. We encourage the City’s electric customers to sign up for NIXLE by texting your zip code (95448) to 888777. Following the City’s Facebook and Nextdoor pages will also provide up-to-date and current information from the City.
- What if I or a family member are dependent upon medical devices or limited mobility?
Let the Utility department know if you are dependent upon medical devices requiring electricity or have limited mobility at bit.ly/UTILAFN or 707-431-3307. We are committed to providing additional safety measures for customers who need energy for certain medical needs, including sending extra notifications. View examples of medical needs and recommended power outage preparations.
- How is a State-issued flex alert different from a public-safety power shutdown? What should I do during a flex alert?
- What if I have more questions about public-safety power shutdowns?
Please email email@example.com with your questions and comments.