FortisBC responds to criticism about 'excessive' tree pruning

FortisBC tree response

Re: Beverley J. Kalmakoff’s letter Tree pruning ‘excessive’ (Castanet, Jan. 29)

Safety is our top priority (at FortisBC). It is for that reason, as well as the reliability of our electricity systems, that we take a proactive approach to trimming and maintaining trees and vegetation that present a hazard to our lines and the communities we serve.

FortisBC actively surveys our power lines to identify and prioritize trees and vegetation that could pose a hazard. We do this to keep the communities we serve safe and ensure the reliability of our system. Trees and brush are only trimmed or removed for public safety and to prevent potential hazards to electricity lines.

We engage with property owners and communities anytime it is necessary to remove a tree.

FortisBC recognizes how important trees are to our communities and the critical role they play in a healthy environment.

We understand the concerns that community members may have about how we manage trees and vegetation around power infrastructure. We balance those concerns with the reality that trees growing too close to power lines can pose a significant threat to communities.

Trees and other vegetation growing too close to electricity infrastructure and rights-of-way can cause power outages and become a potential safety hazard, including posing a fire risk.

Property owners also have an important role to play in keeping their property and community safe by planting trees and vegetation a safe distance away from power infrastructure and rights-of-way.

It is important to choose the right tree for the right place and know how big the tree will be at maturity?its height, branch span and root span. Always plant trees and shrubs at a safe distance from power lines and electrical infrastructure. For more details on how to plant safely, visit fortisbc.com/safeplanting.

We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding as we work together to keep our communities safe and keep the power flowing to homes and businesses.

Shawn Conway,
FortisBC director of operations,
Fraser Valley and Southern Interior, gas and electric

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