Message from Governor Steve Sisolak.
Just this week, I received my very first briefing from state and federal officials on the upcoming wildfire season. What I learned was that our emergency management and natural resources professionals are well-prepared and coordinated to respond to this year’s fire season, but also recent weather patterns mean that parts of Nevada will see above normal, significant wildfire potential this year.
Natural disasters have increased in both frequency and severity throughout the state of Nevada and surrounding states in recent years, and because of that, we must increase our efforts to reduce damage from these increasing catastrophic events – especially to our critical utility infrastructure.
This bill, Senate Bill 329, will require electric utilities to submit a plan to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada every three years outlining steps they have taken and will take to prevent and mitigate risk from wildfires and other natural disasters.
The bill will also result in reduced fuel threat near electrical lines and infrastructure and it will ensure that qualified electrical workers with the experience to handle this work safely and smartly are the ones entrusted with our electrical systems.
This is an up-front investment that utilities will make to protect themselves and ratepayers from higher costs in the event of damage from a natural disaster. Studies show that investment in reducing the risk of wildfires has a proven cost savings ratio of at least three to one.
As you can see from the folks standing behind me today, this bill has the support of utility providers, our firefighting professionals, and labor alike.
By making a plan to protect our critical utility infrastructure from dangerous natural disasters, our utility companies are taking steps to increase safety for our firefighters and electrical workers during these catastrophic events.