12:24 PM

SRP takes steps to proactively mitigate wildfire risk


Salt River Project takes numerous steps to help prevent damaging wildfires and reduce impact from fires that burn close to critical power system infrastructure. Below are story ideas media are invited to cover relating to SRP’s wildfire mitigation efforts ahead of the summer and monsoon season.

*Interested media should contact Erica Roelfs at Erica.Roelfs@srpnet.com.

May 16: AI-enabled wildfire detection cameras to be installed on transmission towers

To support early detection of wildfires near the power system, SRP invested in a pilot to install solar-powered infrared cameras that use AI technology to detect smoke from up to 10 miles away. The “SmokeD” cameras learn surrounding environment and provide alerts to SRP as well as the U.S. Forest Service and emergency response crews. SRP is setting up two test areas with 12 cameras to capture images of a portion of its 500-kV transmission towers. The cameras can work night and day, and capture images every 10 minutes with a 360-degree view. These have already been installed in select areas in the Tonto National Forest and will soon be installed on transmission towers in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.


Crews will complete the final six camera installations on three transmission towers next week, with media invited to join an installation. 
May 16 at 10 a.m. 
North of Highway 260 between Payson and Heber 
*Media to contact Erica Roelfs ahead of time at Erica.Roelfs@srpnet.com and meet day-of at the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center. 


  • Crews will install cameras and corresponding solar panels on SRP transmission line poles in forested areas by climbing poles and going up in large bucket trucks. 
  • SRP’s Fire Mitigation Specialist, Floyd Hardin, can discuss the value this camera pilot program is expected to provide. 
  • Previous downloadable B-roll video when cameras were installed at SRP's East Valley test site.
  • An expert from the U.S. Forest Service will be available for interview. 
  • An expert from Poland-based company SmokeD will be available for interview.  

Additional Details:

SRP is in the process of applying for a federal grant that if received, would in part go toward the funding of additional SmokeD cameras. If awarded the grant, SRP hopes to purchase more than 20 cameras to be installed at seven different locations across the state.


SRP recently installed fire-resistant mesh wrap around powerlines

SRP began installing fire-resistant mesh wrap to help prevent extensive damage to certain power distribution poles in fire-prone areas. The mesh covers the lower 5-6 feet of each power structure, and the mesh expands – like a marshmallow – if fire burns near the pole. This has so far been added to 28 structures, and can be known to extend the life of the pole or delay the necessary replacement of certain poles. 
SRP experts can describe this process and the benefit to this proactive measure. 

*Interviews can be coordinated with SRP experts on these installations. Mesh installations will continue throughout the summer as necessary; no confirmed dates are scheduled.


“Forest 500” effort cleared 250+ miles of brush growing near transmission lines

SRP crews and contractors cleared brush growing along three 500kV transmission lines running from northeastern Arizona to the Valley – totaling 254 miles – to help proactively prevent damaging fires under these critical powerlines. This effort took nearly a year to complete, beginning in May 2022 and recently ending in March 2023. Crews use industrial mowers and hand tools to trim brush in the Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The effort is completed every five years and is nicknamed the “Forest 500.”

By keeping brush low, crews help prevent extensive damage to transmission lines in the event of a wildfire while also protecting SRP’s reliable power supply to the Valley.

*Downloadable B-roll and images of the Forest 500 efforts are available. Interviews can be coordinated with SRP experts who can speak to proactive vegetation management efforts.

About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving approximately 1.1 million customers. SRP provides water to about half of the Valley’s residents, delivering more than 244 billion gallons of water (750,000 acre-feet) each year, and manages a 13,000-square-mile watershed that includes an extensive system of reservoirs, wells, canals and irrigation laterals.