SDCEA Working to Reduce the Risk Posed by Vegetation Near Power Lines

We understand our consumers value trees and vegetation around their properties, as does SDCEA. Vegetation is an 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 causes 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 in California. Combined with the impacts of regional fires, such as the Decker Fire in Fremont County and near Salida, it is our hope that our consumers understand the necessity of SDCEA’s focused efforts on vegetation management.

Keeping vegetation away from power poles and power lines is an important part of SDCEA operations. This photo shows vegetation that has been cleared away from lines in SDCEA’s service territory.

Sangre de Cristo Electric adopted a system-wide workplan to increase vegetation management efforts this year in order 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 in 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 we 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.

If you want to report what you feel is a hazardous tree in or near a line, please visit our website at Under the Safety > Vegetation Management tab, there is a short form to fill out to request one of our staff members to come out and look at the tree. You may also call our office toll-free at (844)395-2412.