City of Ashland and Ashland Parks Commission crews are working today, June 19th, at the North Mountain electric substation at the corner of North Mountain Avenue and Hersey Street. With consultation from Ashland Fire & Rescue, the Electric Department and Ashland Parks crews are cutting dead and dying trees surrounding the substation, pruning branches, and will finish cutting grass that was previously inaccessible. Many trees were dying or in poor health around the station and species on the flammable plant list.
Protecting city infrastructure from wildfire is an important goal, whether in the watershed or in the city itself. Creating "defensible space" around the substation allows firefighters to more safely defend the substation and creates opportunities to catch a developing fire should a spark come from the equipment during the summer.
Ashland Fire & Rescue issued a permit for crews to run chainsaws and chippers throughout the day with added safety measures to let them work beyond the current 1 pm shutdown.
"This is a great example of how various aspects of City government are constantly working together to make Ashland safe and provide high quality customer service," said Tom McBartlett, Director of Ashland's Electric Utility. Work will continue in the future to make the area more inviting and safe.