Emergency Vegetation Management Work
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) works hard every day to provide safe and reliable electric service to our customers throughout Northern and Central California. In October, strong winds impacted our service area resulting in extraordinary wildfires that devastated parts of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Mendocino and Lake Counties, as well as portions of several other Northern California counties. The fires left numerous dead or dying trees standing along power lines which – if not removed — can pose a threat to public safety. California law requires that dead, dying or diseased trees that have the potential to contact power lines be removed. PG&E is currently in the process of identifying and felling hazard trees along easements, right of ways and on private property that are hazards to public safety.
Contractors for PG&E, whose employees include Registered Professional Foresters (RPFs) or trained arborists, patrol the damaged area and mark fire-damaged trees for felling. Once tree inspections have been performed and hazardous trees have been marked, tree crews begin removal work. PG&E expects to cut down as many as 25,000 hazard trees in the fire-impacted areas and expects to have work completed in early 2018.
Wildfire Wood Management Program
During this hazard tree felling operation, PG&E will make reasonable efforts to notify property owners with information about tree removal efforts. Fire-damaged trees are clearly marked and notices are left at subject properties where separate parcels can be clearly identified. Individual residents are also contacted if located in the area.
PG&E recognizes that felled trees can leave behind a considerable amount of debris that can be difficult for homeowners to manage, which is why we are offering a free service to move or remove the wood we cut down in fire-impacted areas. Customers must opt-in to this Wildfire Wood Management program by calling 1-800-743-5000.
Through this program, customers can request the removal of wood from qualifying hazard trees PG&E cuts down. PG&E contractors will haul away and dispose of the wood that is greater than 4” in diameter. The wood being removed from fire-impacted areas is generally not commercially viable, but PG&E’s contractors will often turn this woody debris into chips to be used for bio-fuel or mulch.
If you have any questions about this work please contact Tara Mortimeyer at (415) 257-3401 or visit pgecommitment.com for a comprehensive overview of PG&E resources for our impacted customers.