SAN FRANCISCO, November 26, 2018 – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in conjunction with other state entities and private partners, will host the state’s first convening of thought leaders and practitioners from state and local governments, academia, and the technology industry to discuss the challenges of wildfires and tools that can help better manage these devastating disasters.

WHAT: Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit

WHEN: Two days: March 20, 2019, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and March 21, 2019, 8 a.m. – noon

WHERE: Sacramento, CA

WHY: To initiate an ongoing dialogue between the technology industry, academic researchers, utilities, and government on the needs and tools to address wildfire challenges.

“We cannot just accept devastating wildfires as the new normal. California is the global leader in technology and innovation. We can develop game-changing solutions and get ahead of this problem,” said CPUC President Michael Picker.

Summit attendees will have the opportunity to hear from leading experts, practitioners, and entrepreneurs and discuss innovative technologies, strategies, and practical tools.

Wildfires in California are occurring more often and are more destructive than ever. There are nearly four million Californians who live in high fire-risk areas defined by the CPUC’s fire hazard map, which makes up 44 percent of California’s land mass.  There are 1.4 million housing units within the high fire threat areas. Further, it is estimated that 4.2 million wooden utility poles and 200,000 miles of overhead electric distribution lines cross through these expanding high fire hazard areas to serve these growing populations.

The CPUC is one of the government agencies tasked with ensuring that investor-owned utilities operate a safe and reliable grid. To ensure public safety in this time of increased wildfire occurrence, the CPUC is addressing wildfires in many settings, including initiating regulatory proceedings, implementing new legislation such as Senate Bill 901 (Dodd, 2018), engaging with communities on de-energization programs, and working with other state agencies on developing wildfire plans.

Visit http://firetechsummit.cpuc.ca.gov/ for information on cost of attendance and a draft agenda. Additional information, including location address, will be posted on the site as it becomes available.

While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend, no official action will be taken.

If specialized accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll free at 866-849-8390 at least three business days in advance of the event, if possible.

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services.  For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.