Mitigation work on Emerald Mountain begins Tuesday
With ongoing power line maintenance and fire mitigation efforts to protect electric service to Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley Electric Association has hired All Weather Services LLC to begin fire mitigation work on Emerald Mountain beginning Tuesday, June 1.
“This will be highly visible, so we wanted to provide the community as much notice as possible,” said Parks, Trails and Open Space Manager Craig Robinson in a news release. “Once the project is complete, the resulting break will provide valuable fire mitigation on the mountain while enhancing access to the area.”
Crews will be working on the single-phase line that runs from the top of the Howelsen Hill Ski Area to the top of Emerald Mountain. This power line is critical for emergency services communications, including fire, police and the Federal Aviation Administration. Hand crews and additional safety personnel will be monitoring trail use with periodic trail closures as equipment passes over and near any recreational trails on city property.
As part of the project, hand crews will be used in conjunction with a masticator to chip/mulch most live woody vegetation 15 feet on each side of the centerline for the length of the power line. Additionally, trees that pose a safety hazard of falling on the line will be removed outside of this corridor to reduce fire danger. Woody vegetation will be mulched/chipped into smaller pieces and left to decompose. Fire suppression plans are in place while work is underway.
For safety reasons, those recreating on Emerald Mountain should follow all signage and direction provided by field workers. City staff will be coordinating with All Weather Services to verify trails are repaired and impacts are minimized to the natural areas within the YVEA easement. Work is estimated to last approximately one week.
Temporary impacts to trail users may occur on NPR Blue/Green, Mile Run, Blackmer, MGM, T Bar, Larry’s, Prayer Flag Road, Blair Witch, Quarry Mountain and Lane of Pain.
This construction aligns with YVEA’s plan to expand upon its existing maintenance and safety programs to significantly reduce fire ignitions caused by infrastructure while strengthening the overall electric system. The wildfire mitigation plan is part of a larger, ongoing strategic effort to improve the safety and resiliency of its electric grid.
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