Safety is our top priority at PNM Wildfire Mitigation Efforts, and because we live in a hot, dry climate, wildfire preparedness is an important way that we work to keep customers and our electric system safe.
While wildfire season typically begins in the spring, wildfire mitigation efforts are year-round, and PNM is taking a big step with a new aerial inspection program.
PNM recently hired EDM International, Inc. to perform a virtual inspection and inventory of PNM transmission and distribution structures throughout the PNM service area, with a special focus on areas that may have a high potential for wildfire.
International, Inc. will fly a helicopter equipped with cameras directly above powerlines, capturing continuous high-resolution images that PNM will use to review vegetation, rights-of-way, and integrity of our electric structures, and develop a comprehensive plan to fix any issues that may have been noticed.
“With the change in our climate and the growing concern about wildfires across the western part of the United States, these efforts are more important now than ever,” said Wesley Gray, director for PNM Transmission, Distribution, and Substation. “Utilities everywhere, including PNM, are enhancing their wildfire efforts.”
The PNM service area spans across many parts of New Mexico, and the terrain is diverse and can be hard to navigate at times.
The use of the helicopter helps eliminate those factors, saves time, and gives us an important bird’s eye view of our electric system.
Customers should be aware that at times, the helicopter may be flying low over powerlines that are near neighborhoods.
There is no cause for concern, as they are gathering valuable information.
The helicopter will be flying in the Albuquerque area, as well as around The Sandia, Isleta, Santa Ana, San Felipe, and Santo Domingo Pueblos.
The inspection in these areas will last through the month of March if weather permits.
Wildfire preparedness involves everyone, and there are simple measures that customers can also take to stay safe, including:
- Double check your contact information on your PNM account and update any information that is not up to date.
- Keep dry leaves and debris swept away from outdoor lighting, outlets, and power cords.
- Keep grass and weeds growing around power poles and under power lines trimmed back.
- Clean up dried leaves and grasses in your yard, and clear gutters and other places that may collect debris.
- Put together an emergency supply kit and have a family plan in case of a power outage and/or emergency. For additional information on these kits Ready.gov is a great resource.
- Ensure that all family members in your home have the contact information of a common friend/relative outside the area in which you live. This friend or relative can act as a focal point for your family in case you accidentally get separated.
- Sign up for emergency alert notifications through your county or other local resource. Sign up for wildfire updates on the New Mexico Fire Information website.
For additional wildfire safety tips, visit PNM.com/safety.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving 530,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit www.PNM.com.