SMUD crews are clearing large groups of trees under and near transmission lines that pose a threat to public safety and to the reliability of the utility company's power system.
“We’re pruning and removing trees around our electric transmission infrastructure,” said Pruning Expert Eric Brown. “We’re also reducing fuel loads with large tractors that have mowing heads on them that are reducing the fuel brush that’s growing in our transmission easements.”
The massive project utilizes high-tech imaging and analysis to identify fire threats.
“We have remote sensing equipment on aerial aircraft, helicopters and fixed-wing,” Brown explained. “They fly over the top of our electric transmission easements and identify vegetation that’s in states of decline.”
All areas in the SMUD service region are assessed at least every three years, with a mid-cycle patrol at the 18-month mark.