Pole Safety FAQ

  • Why do we clear the vegetation from poles?

    SDG&E conducts its pole brush activities to keep your community and neighborhood safe from wild land fires. The year-round pole brushing activities provide a high level of fire prevention by minimizing vegetation growth around subject poles.  State law requires utility companies to clear around subject poles located within the State Responsibility Area (SRA). Section 4292 of the Public Resources Code (PRC) defines the power line hazard reduction requirements for SDG&E to clear the firebreak around subject poles. Section 1250 – 1255, Title 14, California Code of Regulations provides further details.


  • Why don’t you brush around every pole?

    PRC 4292 requires SDG&E to brush poles with non-exempt hardware.  About one in three poles in the State Responsibility Area of SDG&E’s service territory have non-exempt hardware.

  • What is “non-exempt” hardware?

    Non-exempt hardware is a general classification of electrical equipment that includes fuses, switches, lightning arrestors, hot tap (hot line) clamps and split bolts.  This hardware is used to protect electrical equipment and isolate outages.

  • What does this firebreak include?

    Section 1254 describes the minimum clearance provisions of PRC 4292. This is best described visually with the following illustration of the fire break clearance requirements:

  • When is brush clearing required?

    The following figure shows the time of year by location when the power line hazard reduction standards are applicable. Note that SDG&E service territory is in Orange and San Diego Counties, and that pole clearing is required all year.

  • Where will these brush activities occur?

    Pole brushing occurs throughout SDG&E’s service territory. Most of the pole brush clearing is done in the Cal Fire State Responsibility Area (SRA) and in the US Forest Service federal responsibility areas (FRA). In addition to SRA and FRA, certain poles are brushed in fire risk areas that are under the jurisdiction of local fire departments (LRA). The blue grids identify the vegetation management areas used for identifying work that will be done by SDG&E contractors. The table below shows the SRA/FRA and LRA areas where brush clearing is required

  • When will you be in my neighborhood?

    The three pole brush activities are scheduled and completed by Vegetation Management Area. The chemical, mechanical, and reclear schedules are provided in the attached pole brush activity schedule.