Outage and Wildfire Prevention
Vegetation Management for Right of Way
OPALCO performs an aggressive Right-Of-Way (ROW) maintenance program to help create a reliable electrical system. We trim and remove trees and other vegetation under or near our power lines to reduce the frequency of power interruptions caused by overhanging branches and trees. This also helps create easier access for our line crews to make repairs, thus shortening the outage time.
The removal of potentially hazardous trees helps all members of the cooperative to have a more reliable system and a safer environment
On your property
Before you start trimming
If there are energized power lines in close proximity, call OPALCO so that we can advise and assist in tree removal.
Please don’t attempt to cut a dead or dying tree that is leaning heavily toward OPALCO power lines. Call us!
And learn more by reading our OPALCO Safety Matters_ROW whitepaper.
Avoid the Big Green Box
Please stay away from pad-mounted transformers (the big green box). Keep areas surrounding the pad-mounted transformer clear so that workers can safely maintain transformers as needed. Keep shrubs and structures at least 10 feet away from the transformer doors and 4 feet away from sides.
Call before you dig!
Call 811 to locate services in your area before you do any digging.
Our crews are always vigilant about inspecting our lines and when a danger tree that threatens our lines is noticed, we work with the property owner and get permission to remove the tree that is deemed a potential hazard to our electrical system. Please do not attempt to cut a dead or dying tree that is leaning heavily toward our lines. Call OPALCO so that we can advise and assist in its removal.
OPALCO maintains a minimum of 10 foot ROW on each side of our lines and we try to remove or trim to this specification so that we can have a certain number of years before the need to return to the area. We will chip up the brush and limbs. There will be times, when we will just fall the trees and leave them in the woods when access to chipping is not feasible. The trees are the property of the land owners and are left for them, unless other arrangements are made. Occasionally, in remote areas, we will blow the chips into the woods to decompose.
To remove a tree that is in close proximity to our energized lines can be a dangerous undertaking. Please call OPALCO so that we can advise and assist in the tree’s removal.
It is definitely more cost effective for us to remove small trees early by hand cutting or by mobile power mowing the area underneath the lines than to trim or cut the tree down when the tree is growing in and around the energized lines. Another reason is that by keeping the area under the lines clear, it gives the line crews better access to our lines when restoration is needed during a power interruption.
Report an Outage
Call 360-376-3599 to Report an Outage.
Use SmartHub to get personalized notifications by text/email – and report outages.