SANTA ROSA (AP) – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plans to cut down up to 25,000 fire-damaged trees in an effort to protect power lines in 13 counties across Northern and Central California.

PG&E spokeswoman Deanna Contreras tells the Press Democrat tree-cutting crews are already working along roads and across private property and that the work should be completed by the end of the year.

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She says residents in fire areas may have noticed bright green spray-painted marks at the base of trunks on trees near power lines.

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Contreras says they were left by PG&E arborists and foresters who determined the trees need to be cut down.

The utility has been faulted in multiple lawsuits alleging poorly maintained power lines were responsible for the series of fires that started Oct. 8. The cause of those fires remains under investigation by the state.

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