Professional woodsman Dustin Porter takes a chainsaw to the fallen cottonwood tree with support crew at the ready. Photo courtesy George Doerksen

Concern for public safety prompts removal of a tree from Puntledge River

Multiple agencies team up for afternoon operation

Concern for public safety prompted a multi-agency effort to remove a fallen cottonwood tree from the Puntledge River, Saturday afternoon.

Last weekend, a large tree fell into the river, causing a dangerous hazard to tubers.

On Friday, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) issued a public warning about the hazard.

READ: Warning issued about new Puntledge River hazard

Twenty-four hours later, crews were on the water, removing the tree from the area.

Participants included members of CVGSAR, along with members of the K’omoks First Nation Guardian Watchmen, led by Cory Frank; Warren Fleenor and Rupert Wong of Current Environmental; Comox Valley Emergency Program (CVEP); and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Professional woodsman Dustin Porter was the tree feller on hand and “really did the bulk of the work… he’s the one who really deserves a big pat on the back,” said George Doerksen, of CVEP.

CVGSAR president Paul Berry said the response on social media prompted Saturday’s removal operation.

“There were over 1,000 shares to our Facebook [post], with stories of individuals who had already been pinned, or injured, or thrust underneath the log,” he said. “With the long weekend looming, we thought it would be prudent to try and remove it if we could.”

The tree was chopped into smaller chunks, with the protruding branches removed from danger.

“There are still some larger chunks sitting in the river, but they pose far less hazard than they did before,” said Berry.

The procedure took about four hours to complete, with more than two dozen volunteers involved.

CVGSAR also manned the river upstream, stopping any river travellers from intruding on the process.

“It was a group effort from a lot of people who were concerned about public safety and wanted to make sure that the hazard was clear, with the long weekend looming,” said Berry.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Dustin Porter (wading in water) and other crew members manoeuvre some of the cut logs in the river after Porter delimbed and bucked the large tree. Photo courtesy George Doerksen

Just Posted

Comox Valley climate crisis series continues with a look at local altered landscapes

World Community’s four-part series Addressing the Climate Crisis: Activism, Adaptation, and Resilience… Continue reading

Courtenay achieves climate action milestone

The City of Courtenay’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in corporate… Continue reading

Shipping container housing for homeless to open this month at Courtenay site

Project is partnership of Comox Rotary and Dawn to Dawn and will help address housing needs

Annual Denman Island shoreline cleanup set to tackle growing debris

The annual cleanup is set from Sept. 21 to 28, and is looking for volunteers

Temporary street closures upcoming in downtown Courtenay

Work is underway on a section of Fitzgerald Avenue in preparation for… Continue reading

‘It’s almost surreal’: B.C. fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

Most Read