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PG&E tree removal troubles

A property owner says PG&E is not keeping its promise to remove Camp Fire damaged trees.

Posted: Jan 2, 2020 8:56 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - One property owner told Action News Now PG&E is not removing Camp Fire damaged trees like they promised.

"I'm hoping they come back and do what they promised, take these trees out, dispose of them," said Camp Fire survivor, Michael Pritchard. "That's all I'm asking."

Pritchard said PG&E contractors cut down at least 50 trees in early December and left them on his property.

"It looks to me like a war zone. Somebody went in with chainsaws and just cut all the trees they could and left it. It looks like a bomb went off actually," he said.

Pritchard explained contractors working for PG&E promised to cut up the oak trees and place them on a certain spot on their property and the pine trees they would discard of because they're too sappy to burn as firewood.

"I can't leave it to decompose its a fire hazard," said Pritchard.

Pritchard said he's stopped contractors to ask for help removing the wood and they gave him a number to call for help.

"We filed a claim and they said they would investigate but [nothing happened]," he said.

PG&E Spokesperson Paul Moreno said crews have not finished working on Pritchard's property and a contractor is scheduled to come out next week to cut down the remaining trees then a different contractor will remove the wood.

PG&E also apologized for timeliness and lack of clear communication to the customer.

The utility company also said Pritchard is a part of their Enhanced Vegetation Management Program, which includes removing the wood that has been cut and requested to be discarded of by the homeowner.

Property owners have until Friday, Jan. 17 to sign a right of entry to have the state remove Camp Fire burned trees that threaten public roadways.

Whether you sign up for the tree removal program or not, the trees must go; even if you do not plan to rebuild.

Insurance money may also be used for tree removal.

To sign up for the tree removal program, CLICK HERE.

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We're getting hotter as we head into the middle of this week, and the potential for thunderstorms will prompt a Fire Weather Watch in the Sierra on Thursday. Hot & dry conditions continue through your weekend.
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