Wildfire Safety & Prevention

Protecting people, property and natural environments.

What we’re doing

For us, being prepared is a year-round effort to protect people, property and public spaces. This includes:

  • Inspecting, trimming and removing trees and shrubs that could cause trouble along our transmission and distribution lines.

  • Upgrading equipment, like replacing wood poles with fire-resistant poles, using insulated wire and enhancing our remote monitoring.

  • Working closely with local and state emergency managers, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, Tribes, fire districts and emergency responders to plan and coordinate on wildfire prevention and response.

Graphic showing the timeline of PGE prevention work.
View the full graphic of how we prepare PGE. Encuentre detalles sobre cómo nos preparamos para la temporada de incendios forestales durante todo el año. PGE

We're using innovative technology to prevent fires

High-tech weather stations


Oregon’s complex terrain can create micro-climates that make it difficult to understand what’s happening in particular areas. We’ve built a vast network of weather stations that allow our meteorologists to better predict dramatic weather year-round.

AI cameras spot smoke


We’ve installed 360-degree AI-enabled cameras throughout high fire risk areas that can spot smoke earlier and share location information with local fire agencies in real time. This enables fire crews to extinguish fires before they can grow.

Keeping power lines clear


Our service area includes more than 2.2 million trees along nearly 12,000 miles of overhead power lines. We conduct routine, year-round tree-trimming and vegetation management. In addition to routine tree-trimming, we also conduct enhanced vegetation management in high-risk areas.

Making the grid more resilient


A key focus for us when it comes to wildfire mitigation is system hardening — putting up fire-resistant poles, covered power lines and converting overhead lines to underground in high-risk areas.

Here's what you can do

In historically wet, mild Oregon, summers are getting hotter and drier, resulting in longer fire seasons. Learn more about how you can:

Wildfire Ready Events

You're invited!

Our wildfire plans include you. Yes, you! Come learn about our 2024 Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP) and share your thoughts as we develop our 2025 WMP at one of our Wildfire Ready events. 

Learn more

Wildfire safety FAQs

In Oregon, fire season is a period of time when the combination of environmental factors and human activity increases the risk for wildfire. It usually starts around late spring (May or June) and lasts until fall (October or November).

Annually, PGE makes an internal fire season declaration, which initiates operational changes and different system protections that help reduce wildfire risk:

  • Heightened safety protocols and changes to the way we operate our system in certain areas.

  • Changes to work practices including the addition of fire-related tools and equipment on trucks for our crews.

  • Enhanced monitoring and communication in coordination with fire agencies, other public sector resources and utilities.

Preparation is a year-round effort, and everyone has a role to play. Planning checklists and resources are available on portlandgeneral.com/be prepared:

  • Have an emergency plan that includes where you can go in the event of an extended outage, especially if you rely on electricity for a medical condition or medication.

  • Create an outage kit with items including flashlights, headlamps, extra batteries, battery-powered clock or watch, car chargers for phones and electronic devices, bottled water for people and pets (including livestock, if your water pump relies on electricity), frozen cold packs or frozen water (bags or bottles) to help keep food cold.

  • Update your contact information with PGE so we can send you proactive notifications in the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). You can update your information online at portlandgeneral.com, use the PGE app or call PGE’s Customer Service team at

    503-228-6322 or 800-542-8818.

  • Contact your city or county emergency management office to learn how you actively reduce wildfire risk by establishing defensible space around your home or business. Defensible space is the buffer you create between your home or business and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surrounds it.

The safety of our customers and communities is one of PGE’s top priorities. We proactively and comprehensively work year-round across our service area to reduce the risk and impact of wildfires.

  • System hardening and equipment upgrades. We proactively maintain and upgrade our equipment to increase resilience, reduce outages and mitigate wildfire risk.

    • Deliberate and targeted approach to converting overhead power lines to underground power lines in High Fire Risk Zones.

    • Since 2019, we have installed almost 1,000 iron utility poles in specific areas to make our system more resilient against wildfire.

    • Installing covered conductor, which is an insulated overhead power line designed to bolster power reliability and reduce wildfire risk.

  • Vegetation Management. Our service area includes more than 2.2 million trees and approximately 12,000 miles of overhead power lines. We conduct routine, year-round tree-trimming and vegetation management. In addition to routine tree-trimming, we also conduct enhanced vegetation management in High Fire Risk Zones.

  • Remote monitoring. We have a network of over 30 Pano AI smoke detection cameras that provide 24/7 visual observation of High Fire Risk Zones with real-time data that alerts PGE and public safety partners of potential wildfire ignitions. This valuable information enables a faster emergency response by fire suppression agencies. Nearly 50 public safety partner agencies have direct access to this technology, with proven results of improving response time to fires.

  • Weather monitoring. PGE’s meteorologists monitor weather conditions daily. Our network of over 80 weather stations provides detailed weather data, which supports making operational decisions, including when we should initiate a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). We share our weather station data publicly to improve regional forecasting and aid in the analysis of extreme weather events.

  • Smart Grid technology. We have installed over 60 intelligent protective devices in our High Fire Risk Zones that are designed to sense when there is a problem on the line (for example, if a branch or other debris contacts it) and automatically shuts off the electricity to prevent damage.

    • PGE plans to install nearly 40 more of these devices in High Fire Risk Zones.

    • These smart switch devices can also be controlled by grid operators to increase operational flexibility, reduce outage duration and minimize the number of customers experiencing a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events.

    • These devices generate additional benefits by improving reliability in all seasons for customers and providing additional situational awareness for PGE.

  • Coordination. We work closely with local, state and federal agencies and Tribes to plan for wildfire and other emergencies. Collaborating with and maintaining strong relationships with these organizations helps us coordinate and plan for emergencies before they happen, so if an emergency happens, we are ready to work together.

  • Preparing our workforce. PGE invests in recruitment, training, tools, and professional development across our organization. Building a competent, capable work force enables PGE to work to prevent wildfires and respond effectively to Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

High Fire Risk Zones (HFRZ) are areas within PGE’s service area that are at higher risk for wildfire and more likely to experience a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). The pre-identified areas include:

  1. Mt. Hood Corridor / Foothills

  2. Columbia River Gorge

  3. Oregon City

  4. Estacada

  5. Scotts Mills

  6. Portland West Hills

  7. Tualatin Mountains

  8. Northwest Hills

  9. Central West Hills

  10. Southern West Hills

  11. Salem Hills

As part of the management and evaluation of our operations, PGE identified areas at higher risk for wildfire using the latest scientific data and risk modeling. We evaluate thousands of data points, variables, and scenarios including the proximity to fire response services, remoteness, egress options for evacuation, and historic drought and weather conditions.

The High Fire Risk Zones reflect PGE’s collaboration with external stakeholders across our service area, including fire physics experts, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Clackamas, Tualatin, and Multnomah fire districts among others.

This robust analysis helps inform our strategic investments and capital improvements to improve the grid’s resiliency and reduce wildfire risk.

Visit portlandgeneral.com/wildfire to view an interactive map that shows the high-risk areas.

Pano AI fire detection cameras provide 24/7 visual observation throughout the High Fire Risk Zones as well as large portions of PGE’s service area with real-time data that can alert PGE and public safety partners of potential wildfire ignitions. These ultra-high-definition camera systems give PGE and public safety partners a 360-degree fire detection triangulation capability across its service area, accurate to within 100 yards.

The camera platform’s machine learning algorithms automate fire detection, awareness, and notifications, helping expand and improve regional fire detection resources. These real-time data feeds and predictive capabilities allow PGE to proactively manage risks, enable a faster emergency response by fire suppression agencies, and minimize the spread of wildfires.

Nearly 50 public safety partner agencies (fire, emergency management, communications) are actively using PGE’s camera network.

In August 2023, the Pano AI fire detection camera network played an important role supporting first responders during a lightning-caused wildfire in the Bull Run Watershed, a critical water source for over 1 million people in the greater Portland metro area. At night, the cameras pinpointed the ignition location of what would become the Camp Creek Fire, and provided high-definition, live-streaming video of the fire to PGE and key emergency response agencies. The cameras showed the fire area's fuel type, behavior, and rate-of-spread, and gave the incident management team more than four hours of advanced planning time than if the fire had been reported at daybreak by traditional detection methods.

ODF and other federal, Tribal, state, and local fire departments and land management agencies consistently provide positive feedback to PGE about their access and use of Pano AI cameras. The early detection information and triangulation accuracy provided by the camera network is increasing crew deployment efficiency and initial attack speed.

Watch: AI cameras spot smoke

Our network of over 80 weather stations provides weather data at a granular level. This real-time data delivers deeper understanding and forecasting about how weather could impact our system as well as broader weather awareness across our service area. We share our weather station data publicly to improve regional forecasting and aid the analysis of extreme weather events. You can find PGE’s weather data on the National Weather Service’s Weather & Hazards Data Viewer and MesoWest Surface Weather Maps.

In addition to the weather station data, our meteorologists closely monitor fire activity briefings, fire potential forecasts, and fire weather forecasts before and during fire season from National Weather Service offices around the region, including Portland, Seattle, Pendleton, and Medford.

Watch: High-tech weather stations

PGE has protective devices on some power lines that, under normal operating conditions, will detect when there is a potential issue on the line (e.g., if a branch or other debris contacts it) and automatically turns off the electricity to prevent damage.

Under normal conditions, these devices will make up to three attempts to restore power, and if the issue is resolved, power will automatically be restored. However, if after the third attempt, the device still detects an issue, it will keep that line de-energized, at which point, PGE crews go out and visually inspect the line.

During fire season, we enhance the sensitivity settings on the protective devices, so if they detect an issue, they will only make one attempt to restore power before remaining de-energized. These settings reduce the time a line is energized and help prevent a potentially damaged line from being re-energized before we can inspect it and determine it is safe.

Due to these enhanced sensitivity settings, customers in areas at higher risk for wildfire may experience longer outages while crews in the field inspect powerlines and other equipment before the power can be safely turned back on.

The National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning when weather conditions include unseasonably warm, dry, and windy conditions that elevate the risk of a potential wildfire. Red Flag Warnings are issued when fire conditions are ongoing or expected to occur shortly. More information is available on the NWS website.

PGE has protective devices on our power lines in some areas of High Fire Risk Zones that detect when there's a potential issue on the line (e.g., if a branch or other debris contacts it) and automatically turns off the electricity to prevent damage.

On days when the National Weather Service calls a Red Flag Warning, or when PGE determines there is an elevated risk of fire, we enhance the sensitivity settings on those devices, so they will operate faster and won’t attempt to restore power to the line. If the device detects a potential issue, it will keep power off until our crews can visually inspect the lines.

That means any weather-related outages may take longer than normal to restore, because our crews will have to wait for conditions to improve and then visually inspect the lines for damage, and complete any needed repairs, before power can safely be restored.

Regardless of the season or time of year, everyone has a part to play when it comes to readiness.


For real-time updates on outages and restoration visit us on Twitter and Facebook.