In the United States and Canada, wildfires are increasing in both frequency and severity, and electric utilities face significant risks when operating overhead facilities in areas prone to wildfires. Many government entities, property owners and insurers who have sustained wildfire-related losses seek recovery for fire suppression costs, damage to property, and damage to natural resources from the utility by alleging the wildfire was caused by the electric system.
This webinar will discuss loss prevention measures, including what utilities can do to reduce exposure and mitigate risks associated with wildfires. Through enhanced vegetation management, system- hardening initiatives and improved operating and maintenance practices, utilities are pursuing a multi-faceted approach to reducing wildfire-related risk.
Don Stone, Esq., from Paine Hamblen LLP and Joe Vaccaro, Electric Transmission & Distribution Project Management, Operations Manager at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) will lead the discussion. Don specializes in civil trial litigation, primarily in the defense of electric and gas utilities, relating to personal injury, wrongful death and property damage litigation. His litigation experience includes defense of two of the largest class-action litigations for wildfires in the country, as well as dam failures, numerous electric contact, fire and stray voltage cases. Don holds both a B.A. and a J.D. degree from the University of Idaho. Joe oversees the Community Fire Safety Program for SDG&E, dealing with all aspects of fire-related programs geared toward reducing sources of ignition from the overhead electric system. He has more than 35 years of utility experience, covering a wide variety of positions, and he is currently leading an effort to re-engineer project management for transmission and substation projects across all of SDG&E.