Wildfire Preparedness

City Light Transmission Lines

City Light's Wildfire Risk Reduction Strategy

The warmer and drier conditions driven by our changing climate are increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Even the traditionally wet forests of the Pacific Northwest are now at greater risk from wildfire than in the past, as are the buildings and infrastructure interlaced within the forests.

Seattle City Light has been paying attention to these changing wildfire conditions. While the risk of fires being ignited by our own assets is low, we recognize that wildfire risk is increasing even in typically soggy areas of the state. In assessing these changing situations, we have proactively taken action to reduce the risk of starting wildfires and mitigate the potential impacts of wildfire on energy facilities, electricity delivery and the communities we serve.

City Light has actively managed wildfire risk for years, and the Wildfire Risk Reduction Strategy (WRRS) is an effort to formalize and advance our wildfire risk reduction work.

Key Elements of City Light’s Strategy

The WRRS addresses the potential for our assets and infrastructure to cause wildfires and be impacted by them. The key elements of our strategy include the following:

  • Risk assessment to understand the risk of electric grid assets causing wildfires, as well as the risk of those assets being affected by wildfires.
  • Risk mitigation to reduce wildfire risk, including actions such as grid hardening and vegetation management.
  • Emergency management to monitor for high-risk weather conditions when fires are more likely to occur and to respond when those conditions arise.
  • Stakeholder engagement with the communities that may be affected by wildfire or City Light’s response to wildfires, and coordination with emergency response organizations and municipalities to respond to events.
  • Governance and accountability to designate responsibility for execution of the WRRS and provide oversight to improve the strategy as it is executed.

How Will the Strategy Change in the Future?

This document will be updated regularly as we refine existing preventive measures, learn new ways to assess risk, and respond to and recover from threats and hazards. We are not alone in wildfire preparedness, and we understand how valuable it is to coordinate our efforts with other city departments, the county, the state, and other utilities to better understand how to reduce the risk of wildfires and mitigate their effects.

How You Can Prepare for Wildfire Season

  • Make sure your utility account contact information is up to date.
  • If someone in your home is dependent on life support equipment, be sure to enroll in our Life Support Equipment Program. By enrolling, we have visibility to your location and needs so we can help keep you informed and prepared during planned and unplanned outages.
  • Create and practice a family emergency plan.
  • Build an emergency kit with a collection of basic items your family might need in the event of an emergency.
  • Sign up for emergency notifications from your county Emergency Management agency, the National Weather Service, and FEMA.
  • Clear brush or other flammable items from around your home to create defensible space.
  • Maintain the trees on your property. Please contact City Light prior to pruning or removing trees near overhead lines.
  • When landscaping, select fire-resistant plants and locate trees a safe distance from power lines and other equipment.
  • Adhere to burn bans at home and when camping.

  • Adhere to burn bans at home and when camping.
  • Carefully attend to campfires and other controlled burns.
  • Inform emergency services immediately if you see smoke.
  • Report fallen or hazardous trees or branches near power lines or equipment.
  • Explore community wildfire resilience resources from the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Wildfire Ready Neighbors program.
  • If you come across a downed utility wire of any kind, always assume it’s energized and stay as far away as you can and call 911.

City Light

Dawn Lindell, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Ave, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34023, Seattle, WA, 98124-4023
Phone: (206) 684-3000

Seattle City Light was created by the citizens of Seattle in 1902 to provide affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible electric power to the City of Seattle and neighboring suburbs.