Southern California Edison removes thousands of dead trees to prevent wildfires

LAKE ARROWHEAD, Calif. (KABC) -- The devastating effects of California's drought along with insect infestations have left the state with millions of dead trees, and 27 million died last year.

In an effort to prevent wildfires, Southern California Edison said it identified dead or dying trees to trim or remove them.

"What we do is we actually patrol this area by vegetation management team personnel, they identify trees that are in close proximity, but we also work with customers. When they contact us, we'll come up and take a look at certain situations," said SCE spokesperson, Steven Conroy.

It's part of an ongoing program for SoCal Edison.

"During the course of the last decade or so we've actually inspected over 900,000 trees throughout our service territory. In the course of those inspections, we've actually trimmed or removed 750,000," he said.

Some arrowhead residents are now breathing a sigh of relief. Like Tomas Saavedra, who found out some of the trees were infested with bark beetles.

"We want our customers to contact us if they have a vegetation issue on the property with a tree, a tree they think is in close proximity to our power lines," Conroy said.

He encourages residents who want to pay someone to have their trees trimmed or removed to hire licensed professionals.
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