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Tree removal controversy in Paradise

Some people in Paradise are mad saying PG&E is cutting down healthy trees. Action News Now Jafet Serrato took their concerns straight to the utility.

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 4:16 PM
Updated: Nov 23, 2019 3:10 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - Some people in Paradise are mad, saying PG&E is cutting down healthy trees. Action News Now took their concerns straight to the utility.

Vicki Redridge-Kunst said PG&E is not just cutting down dead and damaged trees. Her question for PG&E is to know what exactly is going on.

"So if you look behind me we have those dead which appear to be in close proximity in terms of distance from the lines which by the way are on the opposite side of Bille Road," Redridge-Kunst said.

Marlon Buchholz's has lived on Harvey Road in Paradise for 2 years he used to work for CAL FIRE and understands why PG&E is cutting them.

"Because the heat from the fire has literally compromised the trees, Buchholz said. "So if they were to leave them they would be a hazard anyways.

But Redridge-Kunst worries removing healthy trees is hurting the environment.

"Our water table is protected by these trees because they strain the trees with their roots, they hold the earth in place so we don't have landslides," Redridge-Kunst said.

Monica Huchro said PG&E cut 15 trees from her property.

"Paradise has lost so many trees there are so many burnt trees you can see all around you yet they continue to demolish," Huchro said.

We took Monica Huchros concerns directly to PG&E. Spokesperson Paul Moreno said PG&E has the right to clear or trim a tree within 12 feet of a power line.

"We worked with her on her concerns she did have, and we did remove trees in that situation," Moreno said. "You have to understand it's a very different world we're in today and we have to do more to keep the community safe"

But Hurcho's not satisfied.

"I feel like there’s something going on where they have a plan and they're going to demolish all the trees," Hurcho said.

Moreno told Action News Now they will work with people if they see signs of tree damage or trees leaning toward power lines.

PG&E said experts do take time to talk to customers to explain why certain trees have to go.

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Gusty winds, hot temperatures, and dry conditions are prompting a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger today. Gusty winds will keep fire danger high through the end of the week, but a welcome cooling trend is on the way in your extended forecast.
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