Austin Energy Cuts Tree Trimming Crews Amidst Fire Damage

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 27-Sep-2011

Despite reports that Austin Energy may be to blame for the recent Steiner Ranch fires, the utility company says it will allocate less money toward trimming potentially dangerous trees near power lines.

According to the Austin Statesman, Austin Energy recently decreased their tree pruning and removal budget for 2011-2012 by $500,000, in contrast with last year’s funding.

Although Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is getting heat from residents tied to the Bastrop fires, for failing to trim and prune foliage that may be to blame for the thousands of acres destroyed in the Central Texas fire, Austin Energy pruning crews will be down as many as three crews.

The Steiner Ranch blaze is suspected of being sparked by damaged Austin Energy power lines, some reports note.

The city of Austin has almost 2,300 miles of power lines, requiring regular maintenance of the trees and shrubs surrounding. In 1997, Austin policies suggested pruning on a four year cycle, cutting limbs back anywhere from six to 15 feet each cycle, depending on the kind of tree. Austin Energy currently trims on a six year cycle, striving to trim higher quantities of branches and limbs, less often.

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative offers utility services for a 3,800 square mile area, covering 14 different counties in Texas. Like Austin Energy, Bluebonnet trims trees near power lines on a rotating schedule, maintaining foliage surrounding 15,000 miles of power lines. Officials are unsure how much or where Bluebonnet trimmed prior to the Bastrop fire damage.

If you or someone you love has experienced loss, injury or death as a result of Bastrop or Steiner Ranch fire or smoke damage, call our fire insurance claim attorneys, who can help you seek fair and just compensation for your losses. Call our Texas fire damage lawyers at 888-335-7492, contact us online or visit our Austin law offices for a free consultation today. We care. We can help.


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