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Tree near power lines chopped down without permission, mess left behind, says B.C. woman

A Castlegar resident says FortisBC never forewarned her that the tree was going to be cut down.
A Castlegar resident says FortisBC never forewarned her that the tree was going to be cut down. Global News

A B.C. woman says she has a big mess in her yard after a tree was cut down without permission.

Leigha Hamelin of Castlegar says the incident happened Wednesday afternoon and involved a large tree on the edge of her downtown property that was also near power lines.

READ MORE: FortisBC to drop natural gas prices for most B.C. customers in 2020

Hamelin says while she understands the need to cut down trees near power lines, not being forewarned of what was going to happen, and the resulting big mess, was “shocking.”

RCMP trying to track down North Vancouver tree vandal
RCMP trying to track down North Vancouver tree vandal

“I had no idea they were coming and I didn’t get any notifications,” Hamelin told Global News on Saturday, stating she didn’t get a phone call from FortisBC or the tree service company.

“I literally came home from lunch with my girlfriend and there were branches everywhere.”

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Leigha Hamelin
Leigha Hamelin Leigha Hamelin
Leigha Hamelin
Leigha Hamelin Leigha Hamelin

Hamelin said when she got home, the tree service company was approximately halfway through the job. The tree, she estimated, was twice as tall as the power pole.

“I went up to them and asked them what’s going on,” said Hamelin. “And they told me they were ordered by Fortis to cut this tree down; it’s in the way of the power lines, it’s a danger tree.”

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Well known tree with eagle’s nest cut down in Surrey
Well known tree with eagle’s nest cut down in Surrey

Hamelin said she then asked if the company was going to clean up the tree, to which she said she was told no, that cleanup was the landowner’s responsibility.

“It was shocking,” said Hamelin.

“It’s not something you expect to come home to on a Wednesday afternoon.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna couple frustrated after cedars chopped down with little notice

Hamelin said FortisBC will contact her Monday.

Asked what she’d like to see happen, Hamelin said “obviously I’d like them to come and clean it up. There’s branches all the way to my house and on my sundeck.”

Hamelin said she understands Fortis’s point of view of hiring a company to cut it down, but doesn’t like their policy of knocking it down with no notice and then leaving it for the homeowner to clean up at their expense.

Global News has reached out to FortisBC for comment.

Surrey tree cut down where peacocks made their nest
Surrey tree cut down where peacocks made their nest