Our inland communities in the eastern and northeastern portions of our county face some of the most severe wildfire risks. To further strengthen our region’s wildfire preparedness and situational awareness, we installed seven additional weather stations in the areas of Valley Center, Pala and Alpine.
The new weather stations were put into place earlier this year prior to the start of the traditional fire season.
Our weather station network now comprises 177 stations. The new stations provide hyper-local, real-time information about humidity, wind speed, and temperature.
New Stations Help Lessen Impact of Public Safety Power Shutoffs
Highly localized weather data – in conjunction with our newly installed sectionalizing devices on the regional electric system – allow our grid operators to lessen the impact of public safety power shutoffs. (Public safety power shutoffs are used as a last resort to reduce wildfire risk during extreme weather conditions.)
The sectionalizing devices literally break up electric circuits into sections, so it’s possible to keep the power on to more customers while maintaining public safety. When grid operators have hyper-localized information about which section of the circuit is impacted by high winds, they can target the power shutoff more precisely to those areas that are experiencing the condition.
How the Data Helps Protect Our Region
We employ five meteorologists who actively monitor the data coming in from the weather stations daily so our crews can plan accordingly for any impact to operations. The meteorology team also shares a daily weather report with local public safety agencies to help them with their resource and staff planning.
You are invited to check out our weather tools online. Besides the weather station network, we also have a network of cameras to help with early fire detection.
- SDGEweather.com: With information coming in every 10 minutes from our 177 weather stations countywide, you have access to near real-time information to plan your day, or if you’re a utility like us, help maintain public safety.
- Alert SDG&E Cameras: Working alongside UC San Diego and the University of Nevada, we placed 15 high-definition cameras on mountaintops overlooking fire-prone areas. These modern-day fire watchers provide live-streaming views and can be operated remotely to pan, tilt and zoom to better detect smoke and fire. This state-of-the-art system shows time-lapse scenarios and can link to incident command centers to notify fire officials when a plume of smoke becomes visible.
To learn more about our wildfire safety initiatives, visit www.sdge.com/wildfire-safety.