Photo: SDG&E air crane and helicopters help fight fires
October 1, 2019 (San Diego) – As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen wildfire preparedness and prevention in the region, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) has formed the SDG&E Wildfire Safety Community Advisory Council, a group of diverse local leaders from public safety, tribal government, business, nonprofit, and academic organizations who will provide feedback and recommendations on how SDG&E can continue to protect the region from wildfires.
Since the 2007 firestorms, when state regulators determined that SDG&E equipment was to blame for some of the conflagrations, the company has invested heavily in fire prevention.“SDG&E has made significant investments over the past decade across our business to help prevent wildfires. We continue to develop and implement industry-leading wildfire safety technologies, innovations and programs,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief operating officer. “The formation of the Wildfire Safety Advisory Council is a continuation of our work in partnership with the best and brightest in our region to help make every day safer than the last for the communities we are privileged to serve.”
This ten-member advisory council consists of Donald Butz, fire chief of the Lakeside fire protection district and president of San Diego County Fire Chief’s Association, Debbie Case, president & chief executive officer Meals on Wheels San Diego County, Dr. Neal Driscoll, professor of geosciences at the University of California, San Diego, Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and chairman of the California Tribal Chairpersons Association, Tony Mecham, CAL FIRE San Diego unit chief, John Ohanian, president & chief executive officer of 2-1-1 San Diego, Holly Porter, director of the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services, Jerry Sanders, president & chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brett Van Wey, former fire chief of the San Marcos Fire Department, and Shelley Zimmerman, adjunct professor at National University and former San Diego Police Chief.
This accomplished group of community leaders will provide insight, ideas, expertise, and recommendations integral to public safety, wildfire matters, community preparedness, regional coordination, the use of emerging technologies, and best practices.
SDG&E has invested approximately $1.5 billion in a variety of wildfire mitigation initiatives and technologies over the past decade to help prevent catastrophic wildfires. Those investments include building a dense network of 190 weather stations, installing fire-detecting cameras on mountaintops, contracting firefighting helicopters, aggressively replacing wood poles with steel poles, and establishing extensive partnerships with public safety agencies and communities to enhance emergency preparedness and response to benefit SDG&E customers and the region.
SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).