California Chapter: California Wildfires (Virtual Event)

Women's Energy Network California Chapter Logo with Red and Yellow Sunburst
California Wildfires – Issues, Trends and Solutions


Risk of wildfire has become a year-round threat in California (as in other places especially in the west) as extended periods of drought and climate change have become major drivers of the problem. Please join WEN CA to discuss some of the strategies being taken by major utilities in the state to mitigate risk of wildfire from utility lines, research that highlights the role that vineyards, orchards, and other "greenbelts" can play in reducing wildfire risk, as well as policies and adaptations being employed by the wine industry whose very existence has been threatened by wildfires in recent years.

Kathryn Giannecchini
is the Meteorology Data Scientist within the Fire Science and Climate Adaptation department at San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).  She joined SDG&E in 2013 as an operational meteorologist and is now primarily responsible for managing data flows within the meteorology group and working with engineering teams to find long-term solutions to reduce the customer impacts of public safety power shut-offs.  Katie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Valparaiso University and a MS in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of North Dakota.


Ashley L Llacuna is currently the Wildfire Mitigation Strategy Manager in the Wildfire Mitigation Group at SDG&E.  She joined SDG&E in 2015 as an Associate Engineer where she held various positions of increasing responsibility. In her current role, she focuses on evaluating the distribution systems to identifying strategies for the areas of highest wildfire risk including reducing the impacts of Public Safety Power Shutoffs. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from California State University, Sacramento and is a registered Professional Engineer with the State of California.


Sarah Cardona is the Deputy Director at Greenbelt Alliance where she oversees the development and implementation of organizational strategies, objectives and delivery of key results to enable equitable climate resilience solutions across the Bay Area, with a programmatic focus on regional wildfire policy advocacy. She brings prior experience planning and implementing climate mitigation and adaptation solutions for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and regional nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council based in Chicago.



Karissa Kruse is President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, a marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. Since taking over the top leadership role, Kruse has guided the strategy and implementation of Sonoma County becoming the most sustainable wine region in the world. With a BS in Economics and an MBA in Marketing from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Kruse is a forward-thinking leader that continues to innovate in areas of climate stewardship, ag preservation and social sustainability. Her current initiative and passion is the “Farm of the Future.” 

Kruse has received several honors, but a few of her proudest achievements are being named to the Organic Authority's List of "Badass Disruptors Changing Your Food System” and Food and Wine Magazine’s most Innovative Women in Food & Drink. 



Sarah Blanchfield is a Principal at Sequoia Ecological Consulting, Inc.  She has over twenty years’ experience leading people and initiatives and building teams and processes in the environmental planning and compliance field.  Before entering into the consulting world around two years ago, Sarah spent 10 years at Pacific Gas & Electric providing environmental permitting and compliance support for all lines of business.  While at PG&E, Sarah also served as the Environmental Unit Leader in PG&E’s Emergency Operations Command for multiple wildfire events, including the Tubbs Fire, Camp Fire, and 2020 fires.  Now among her many assignments at Sequoia Ecological Consulting, Inc., she supports various local and regional clients to develop more wildfire resilient communities. 



Amy Nefouse is Senior Counsel at Sempra (NYSE: SRE) in San Diego, where she has worked since 2012.  Amy advises Sempra and its family of companies, which include California utilities, renewable projects in Mexico and the LNG export market, on environmental compliance, permitting and litigation matters, as well as serving as Sempra’s political reporting and compliance counsel.  She has served in the past as Chair of the Sempra Energy HQ Local Diversity and Inclusion Council, Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Land Use/Environmental Law Section and as a member of the Indiana University Mauer School of Law Alumni Board.  Amy is the Special Events Chair (Southern California) on the Board of WEN CA.


Thank you to our event sponsors!

Insignia - Silver Sponsor

SWCA - Bronze Sponsor

Event Pricing:

Registration Deadline:
July 14th, 2022

Event Questions? Please contact: Amy Nefouse

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7/15/2022 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Pacific Daylight Time
Virtual Meeting link will be provided prior to the event.

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