PNM announced that it recently hired EDM International, Inc. to perform a visual inspection and inventory of PNM transmission and distribution structures throughout its service area. The company will focus especially on areas that may have a high potential for wildfire, said PNM in a press release.
EDM 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 its electric structures, and develop a comprehensive plan to fix any issues that appear problematic.
“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, according to PNM. The use of the helicopter helps eliminate those factors, saves time, and gives the utility a bird’s eye view of the electric system.
The aerial program started on Oct. 25, 2021 and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2021.
In addition to alerting customers about the potential for helicoptors flying overhead, the utility offers the following tip for wildfire preparedness:
- 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.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving 530,000 customers across the state.