The majority of our power outages are weather and tree-related. That’s one of the unfortunate realities of living in this beautiful (and heavily treed) area of Northwest Montana. Because of this, Flathead Electric Co-op has a robust Vegetation Management Program. Trees interfering with electric utility lines or equipment are pruned or removed on a rotating schedule. To protect over 2,000 miles of overhead line, crews have a big job to do, trimming trees along 150 to 200 miles of line each year. This is in addition to responding to hundreds of tree trimming or removal requests from our members. Your Co-op’s tree trimming program is an industry best practice designed to prevent dangerous situations and ensure electric reliability.

Unfortunately, we can only control so much. We can only trim trees within our legal rights-of-way, and when major wind events hit, tall and otherwise healthy trees far beyond those legal boundaries are sent toppling into power lines. We can assure you that our tree-related outages would be far worse if not for the ongoing efforts of our tree crews. Tree maintenance is a constant effort to keep our system as safe and reliable as possible. Learn more about your Co-op's vegetation management program on our tree maintenance and safety webpage.