Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and California State Association of Counties (CSAC), two advocates for policy change for California’s counties, hold PG&E accountable for removing felled wood from homeowner properties.
Both RCRC and CSAC wrote a joint letter to the company because numerous counties have complained about the company’s refusal to remove felled trees cut during vegetation management operations. In the letter, RCRC and CSAC recognized PGE had increased the pace and scale of its vegetation management operations to reduce the risk of utility-caused wildfire, the refusal to remove the felled trees is impairing public safety; increasing fuel loads; compromising defensible space, and imposing heavy financial burdens on property owners to deal with the aftermath.
RCRC and CSAC also wrote to the state’s Public Utilities Commission to urge regulators to hold PGE accountable for the felled wood and not allow the company to exit the open enforcement process, to which they complied.
In response, PG&E said its wood management program resumed in August and will continue to remove felled wood within 100′ of a structure “when a property owner provides the appropriate consent.” It further stated its current practice is to leave wood chips to an average depth of less than 18”, despite defensible space restrictions on the accumulation of chips and fuel. PGE will be determining regional points of contact for property owners to have felled wood removed. If you have felled timber on your property due to PGE operations, you can call 800-687-5720 or visit the Wildfire Wood Management Program webpage.
Both RCRC and CSAC plan to meet with PG&E further to discuss its vegetation management and wood haul programs and attempt to resolve local concerns.