Southwest Fire Defense has been cutting trees for DPU for over a year. Courtesy/DPU
Southwest Fire Defense trimmed trees near the ski hill last summer. Courtesy/DPU
To mitigate hazards and power outages, a new round of tree pruning, coordinated by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), is scheduled to begin Tuesday and continue through Friday. DPU’s contractor, Southwest Fire Defense & Tree Services, will carry out the work.
While the DPU’s list of hazard junctions covers the entire county, current priorities are ski slope junctions that may be within reach of power distribution lines. In particular, Southwest Fire Defense will target trees near Camp May Road west of the Iron Gates. Trees in other areas of the county will be addressed in the future.
Department staff are responsible for identifying branches that require attention. Trees are only pruned when they are on the right of way or on power line utility easements.
Tree pruning reduces the number and magnitude of power outages by removing branches and trees that are either too close to power lines or present a risk of falling onto power lines. This initiative, coupled with an aggressive operations and maintenance program, supports DPU’s Electric Reliability Plan. As a public utility, improving electrical reliability for DPU serving the community is a top priority.
It is important to note that not all overhead lines in Los Alamos County are power lines. Tree pruning focuses only on branches that become power lines, not other types of cables that can be stretched between poles.
DPU is owned by the community and governed by the Board of Public Utilities, whose members are residents and DPU customers.