As fire danger grows each year we experience drought conditions, it is becoming increasingly important to mitigate the risk of a fire catching or spreading due to our equipment or other circumstances. LPEA's fire mitigation efforts are designed to influence the behavior of potential fires to minimize threats to life and property.
What we do
- Line inspection/maintenance – We visually inspect a third of our nearly 3,750 miles of line each year to ensure equipment is updated and working properly.
- Raptor protection – We have started the process of installing raptor protection devices on all LPEA infrastructure by 2025. This not only reduces outages, but it also protects birds, squirrels, raccoons, bears, etc., saving their lives and preventing fires that may have been caused by their electrocution.
- Vegetation management – We clear weeds, brush, and trees near LPEA’s infrastructure regularly. Tree trimmers rotate through our more than 2,000 miles of overhead line one circuit at a time.
- High risk/red flag days – LPEA constantly monitors the weather from our dispatch center. On holiday weekends and red flag warning days, more linemen are placed on call for quicker response times.
- Education – Many people are unaware of the dangers and hazards of electricity. LPEA offers table-top electric safety demonstrations for children, and an Arc Demo electric safety demonstration for older kids and adults, including first responders. Click here if you would like to book a demonstration for your class, group, or organization.
- Tree Trimming – LPEA strives to cut trees and foliage around overhead powerlines to prevent unnecessary blinks and outages and to reduce the risk of wildfire. Each year, we trim more than 200 miles of overhead lines, which gives us one of the most aggressive tree-trimming programs in the state.
- That said, we are only able to maintain trees within our right-of-way (ROW). Many “problem” trees are outside our ROW, giving us no right to trim them. For trees outside LPEA’s ROW, tree maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner.
- We highly recommend that you contact a tree professional to assess any tree trimming needs on your property. They can then contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 when action is needed. If damage to LPEA infrastructure is caused by the private felling or trimming of trees, the member is responsible for repair costs.
- LPEA’s policy 103 covers our tree-trimming policy as follows:
- LPEA has no affirmative duty to remove trees outside the Cooperative’s rights-of-way.
- However, LPEA will work with landowners to remove trees that are, or could become, a danger to the LPEA’s power lines and facilities.
- With a written request from a landowner, LPEA may assist the landowner with the removal of any tree outside the right-of-way at no cost to the landowner if LPEA has identified the tree as either a Hazardous Tree or a tree that could become a Hazardous Tree.
- Removal of any branches or other debris from outside LPEA’s right-of-way shall be the sole responsibility of the landowner, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing.
What you can do
- Clear your own brush – The Wildfire Adapted Partnership’s (WAP) 2021 Chipper Rebate Program is open until September 30th, or until funds are depleted. WAP reimburses homeowners 50% of their chipper use expenses, up to $250 per household. HOAs or communities that rent chippers or hire contractors to provide chipping services may also qualify for a 50% rebate of up to $750. More: email@example.com
- Assess your risk – WAP also offers a Home Wildfire Site Visit, to determine your property’s wildfire risk, and to propose mitigative efforts. More: wildfireadapted.org
- Research resources – Take advantage of city and county offerings for free, or low cost, trash, and brush removal. Contact your city/county office for more details.