The Colorado State Forest Service recently awarded Sangre de Cristo Electric Association a $479,822 grant for its wildfire mitigation and protection plan project in Fremont and Custer counties.
The project aims to reduce the risk of wildfires by treating 297 acres along 70 miles of power line in the utility’s rights-of-way, a press release stated.
The money will be used to support and accelerate systemwide wildfire mitigation and vegetation management efforts. This includes cutting trees around power lines and in designated rights-of-way in high-risk areas for wildfire.
CSFS awarded the grant on March 20, “Wildfires are a major threat to our community,” the co-op’s interim CEO Gary Kelly said. “This grant will allow us to continue our work toward increasing wildfire mitigation throughout our service area.”
To ensure public safety and reduce fire hazard, crews will focus on removing dead or dying trees as well as those growing within the electric cooperative’s rights-of-way.
Sangre de Cristo is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving 14,000 member accounts in Chaffee, Fremont, Custer, Lake and Saguache counties.