Vegetation Management & Safety
We’re working to reduce the risk posed by vegetation near power lines in our service territory.
We understand that our consumers value trees and vegetation around their properties, as does SDCEA. Vegetation is a very important part of the natural beauty of our valley.
Our consumers also rely on SDCEA to provide safe and reliable power every day – in good weather and in bad. Vegetation in, or having fallen on, our lines are the cause the majority of our outages. Vegetation in electric lines can create serious safety issues, as well as spark and create fire.
Many of our consumers have experienced heightened awareness of the potential risks for forest fires and interruption of power supply due to recent wildfires that have taken place in California. Combined with the impacts of regional fires, such as the Decker Fire in Fremont County and near Salida, it is our hope our members understand the necessity of SDCEA’s focused efforts on vegetation management.
Sangre de Cristo Electric has adopted a system-wide work plan to increase vegetation management efforts this year to decrease the risk to life and property posed by vegetation near power lines.
Crews will be working to clear trees and overgrown vegetation along company rights-of-way in several locations in our service territory beginning January 1, 2020. Included in this plan is clearing 110 miles of overhead lines near the Howard Substation and roughly 60 miles of terrain under overhead power lines in the Twin Lakes area.
If you are near this tree-trimming and vegetation removal project, please keep in mind that you need to stay clear from the work area due to falling debris and the heavy equipment that will be in use.
Sangre de Cristo Electric has contracted with Asplundh, an international vegetation management company, for this work, which will take the entire year to complete. Asplundh will work on clearing vegetation 20-feet on either side of our power lines.
Asplundh contractors will be using bucket trucks, climbing crews, mowing crews and walk-in crews in order to accomplish the plan that we have laid out for 2020. The company’s trucks will be clearly marked with Asplundh Tree Experts, but if you are uncertain or have further questions about SDCEA’s vegetation management plan, please contact our office.
For more information: The trailer to the documentary Fire in Paradise, which follows the Camp Fire in California in 2018, started by a spark from a power line is (scroll down the page) here. Full access to the documentary is limited to subscribers to Netflix.
On PBS’s Frontline, a documentary look at the Paradise fire one year later may be found here.
Report a Tree Problem
Is there a tree on your property growing into a power line; a dead or dying tree near a power line; a tree that has fallen into electrical equipment, but is not yet causing an outage; or a climbable tree near power lines that may present a future hazard? Report it here so our crews can investigate the situation.
(If you are experiencing a power outage, please visit our Outage Center.)