Tri-State crews complete line restoration at Black Forest fire site

Tri-State line crews replace a burned down structure on the Black-Squirrel-Meridian Line. It was returned to service at 10 p.m. on June 14.

Tri-State line crews replace a burned down structure on the Black-Squirrel-Meridian Line. It was returned to service at 10 p.m. on June 14.

Tri-State’s east-side maintenance crews from Ogallala, Neb., Brush, Colo., and Cheyenne, Wyo., headed home this past Sunday morning (June 16) after a busy weekend of repairing sections of transmission line that were damaged by the Black Forest fire.

As of Tuesday morning (June 18), Colorado’s most destructive wildfire to date had claimed two lives and destroyed more than 500 homes — most of which were on the lines of Tri-State member co-op Mountain View Electric Association.

“We still have some clean-up to do and once the fire is out we will go back in and assess the various line right-of-ways to determine whether additional trees need to be cut that may pose a hazard to our lines,” said Greg Britton, Tri-State’s east-side transmission maintenance manager.

Tri-State crews replaced torched structures on two of Tri-State’s lines impacted by the fire and also completed repairs on Mountain View’s 115-kV Black Forest Tap line damaged by the blaze.

Tri-State business continuity analyst Dave Sayles reported earlier this week that Tri-State lines that were affected by the Black Forest fire have been restored and energized. He also noted that he is monitoring multiple fires that are active in Tri-State’s service territory; however, so far none of them are burning near any of Tri-State’s system assets.

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