Wildfire Safety

Our emergency line is available 24 hours a day.

Montana: 888-467-2669

South Dakota/Nebraska: 800-245-6977

In case of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911.

Preventing wildfires is a group effort

A tree trimming crew works on a tree near a power line

Preventing wildfires is a group effort

With humans causing more than 85% of wildfires, it’s more important than ever to help prevent wildfires from starting. At NorthWestern Energy, our Vegetation Management team works year-round to clear any trees and bushes that could contact our power lines, start fires, and cause outages. Our Wildfire Mitigation team, along with emergency response agencies, invests in proactive strategies to protect our system, our customers, and our favorite playground: Montana’s forests.

Are you ready for wildfires?

NorthWestern Energy is ready for wildfire season – are you?

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Wildfire Mitigation

NorthWestern Energy has an active wildfire mitigation program that includes hazard tree removal and adding special equipment to our lines to prevent sparks in high-risk areas.

Managing a rural electric system

A map showing the population density our powerlines serve.

Managing a rural electric system

The majority of our power lines are in rural or sub-rural areas where there are fewer than 24 customers per mile. In the past decade, we have focused on strengthening our electric system, so it’s less likely spark wildfires. We use extensive data sets to determine which stretches of power lines are highest risk, and then install special equipment in those areas, such as spark arresting technology or switches that clear faults quickly.

Hazard Tree Program

Two photos show how we clear our rights of way.

Hazard Tree Program

One way we prevent wildfires is to remove danger and hazard trees – trees that could contact an electric line when they fall. While we have been working for several years to remove hazard trees, it will take several passes to clear Rights of Way to the levels that remove all risk from falling trees.  We are proud of what we have accomplished to date, but it is hard to quantify the fires that have been prevented through these efforts.

Our Hazard Tree Removal Program

Crew clean up after a tree fell through a power line.

Our Hazard Tree Removal Program

A brief examination of NorthWestern Energy's efforts to clear right of ways from beetle killed trees and hazards.