Wildfire mitigation to launch in Minnesota and other states

(ABC 6 News) – As part of President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the White House announced a $3.46 billion investment for 58 energy and reliability projects across the United States; Of the 58 includes the Wildfire Assessment and Resilience for Networks to mitigate damages of future wildfires.

Also called WARN, the program will work operate under Colorado electric service company Holy Cross Energy and utilize research from National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. According to a statement from Department of Energy, WARN will “launch a wildfire mitigation project with a consortium of 39 small, rural, not-for-profit electric co-ops in high threat areas.”

The DOE expects the project will allow members to “harden their networks” by deploying fire-resistant infrastructure, reducing the risk of wildfires in high risk areas like rural Minnesota.

In Minnesota, power lines will be redirected underground, making the lines less susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

According to the DOE, about 75% of involved energy cooperatives have signed commitments to “advance high-quality jobs and local hiring, minimize environmental impact, and/or allocate benefits to disadvantaged communities,” providing not only improved public safety, but higher paying work opportunities.

The DOE stated that Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming will be a part of WARN.