Wildfire Mitigation & Vegetation Management

For more information: View 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.  Full access to the documentary is limited to subscribers to Netflix.

You may also view a documentary look at the Camp Fire one year later on PBS’s Frontline.

Left: Before a right-of-way was cleared in the Twin Lakes area. Right: After the right-of-way was cleared.

We’re working to reduce the risk posed by vegetation near power lines in our service territory.

SDCEA  has adopted a system-wide work plan to increase wildfire mitigation and vegetation management efforts. This work is essential in the prevention of vegetation coming in contact with power lines and igniting a potentially devastating wildfire.

Crews will be working to clear trees and overgrown vegetation along company rights-of-way in several locations in our service territory beginning in February 2021.

Work will begin in February in Chaffee County between Mount Princeton Hot Springs west to St. Elmo in advance rebuilding that line.

Crews will then begin work clearing 19 miles referred to as the Tommy Young line, which runs from Verdemont Road in Custer County north to US 50, via the Cotopaxi cutoff. Also included in this portion of the plan is work clearing a total of 110 miles of overhead lines serviced by the Howard Substation, which includes the Howard and Cotopaxi areas.

SDCEA has contracted with Integrity Tree Service for this work, the aim of which is to clear 20 feet on either side of SDCEA’s poles. Canopies from trees outside the 20 feet distance will be trimmed back to the 20 foot threshold, but the tree not removed unless it is a danger tree. Danger trees are trees that are dead or alive that are leaning towards a power line and can reach the line if they fall.

Integrity contractors will be using bucket trucks, climbing crews, mowing crews, and walk-in crews to accomplish the plan that SDCEA has planned for 2021. The company’s trucks will be clearly marked with Integrity Tree Service, but if you are uncertain, please contact our office.

When the tree-trimming and vegetation removal project is near your property or near adjacent property owners, please keep in mind that you need to stay clear from their work area due to falling debris and the heavy equipment that they will be running, which hinders their ability to hear or see you.

We understand that our members value trees and vegetation around their properties, as does SDCEA. Our members also rely on SDCEA to provide safe and reliable power, something we take very seriously. Many of our consumers have experienced a heightened awareness of the potential risks for forest fires and interruption of power supply due to wildfires that have taken place this last year in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and here in Colorado. Combined with the impacts of regional fires, such as the Decker and Hayden Pass fires, it is our hope our members understand the necessity of SDCEA’s focused efforts on vegetation management.

For questions and more information about SDCEA’s wildfire mitigation and vegetation management work, please email info@myelectric.coop or call our office toll-free, 844-395-2412.

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