Dense, remote mountain forests damaged by prolonged droughts and beetle kill make the Colorado Rocky Mountains a tremendous challenge for transmission management. The immensity of that challenge was evident in early June 2013 as five wildfires raged across Colorado. Like other utilities in the area, Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, was carefully monitoring its assets in the fire zones. Fortunately, Xcel Energy’s vegetation management group had spent the last ...

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