To help ensure the on-going safety and reliability of electricity transmission, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is performing regularly scheduled, routine inspections and maintenance on overhead lines in Archuleta County during the coming weeks. The effort includes the safe trimming and removal of trees that pose a hazard to electrical system lines.
LPEA’s tree trimming crews will be working throughout the county, including areas from Pagosa Springs south to the state line, and northeast to the base of Wolf Creek. County roads involved are CR 326, 335, 339, 359, 391, 389 and 302, plus Forest Service Road 648.
According to LPEA officials, removal of hazardous trees or branches is necessary for public safety, to decrease the potential for power outages and to avoid the possibility of fires caused by limbs or trees falling onto or through power lines.
“We’ve had very few outages this winter, and to a great extent we attribute this to our routine inspection, maintenance, system improvements and tree trimming program,” said Steve Gregg, LPEA operations manager. “Remember that many winter outages are due to snow loading up on hazardous limbs, which break and fall through a line. We take great pride in being proactive with our system maintenance for our members’ benefit.”
A “hazard” tree is any tree that is dead, damaged, infested with insects, showing evidence that the root system is jeopardized or unstable, and/or one that may be leaning toward power lines and is tall enough to come into contact with LPEA electrical equipment if it were to fall. Trees growing within LPEA’s power line right-of-way may also present a hazard to electrical equipment as they mature.
Felled trees will be limbed and left for property owners’ use or disposal. Trails and roadways will be cleared of debris by LPEA. Landlords with rentals in the maintenance areas are encouraged to alert their tenants of possible activity on the right-of-way or adjacent property.
LPEA customers with additional questions or concerns are urged to call Roland Pack, 382-7183 or Ben Cordova, 382-3534.