Laura Dvorak 5:47 p.m., Dec. 6
Tree Crushes House in Ramona: SDG&E Veggie Management Program Strikes Again?
SDG&E Tree-Tracking System at Center of Earlier Rice Wildfire
A giant oak tree destroyed a home in Ramona during the Superbowl weekend, after SDG&E or its contractors allegedly first trimmed the tree then returned to cut power lines holding the tree upright. A utility spokesman denied reponsibility, calling it "an unfortunate situation" ("Large tree falls and destroys Ramona home").
Nearby Ramona neighbors reported seeing SDG&E workers cutting the power line that held up the oak only moments before it demolished the home on Fernbrook Drive. SDG&E allegedly refused to have done any earlier trimming on the 150-year-old oak nearest to the house because of liability concerns ("Tree crashes into home").
SDG&E's Vegatation Management Program drives power line-related tree trimming in San Diego County. The same utility program failed to anticipate the start of the 2007 Rice Wildfire as a result of delayed tree trimming, even though a SDG&E contractor had used the computerized system to notify SDG&E that the tree in question needed immediate attention and should not to be put off more than three months.
Don Akau, SDG&E's VMP manager, testified in 2009 that the utility failed to act in the three months before the Rice Wildfire because it did not get a written memo repeating the computerized warning from the contractor (Akau's Rice Wildfire Testimony).