Around 70,000 dead and hazardous trees to be removed on the Ridge

The town of Paradise will account for roughly half of the around 70,000 hazardous or dead trees being cut down.

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 11:53 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2020 8:49 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - More than two years after the Camp Fire, remnants of its destruction are finally coming down.

Cal Recycle expects about 70,000 trees to be cut down in the coming weeks.

"We're continuing to do this with urgency," said Cal Recycle Public Information Officer, Chris McSwain. "This program is designed to remove any trees that are dead or are slated to die."

State contractors will only cut down hazardous trees after inspection.

"In particular ones that are in danger of falling on public infrastructure, that includes roads and sidewalks and schools," said McSwain.

Trees with the barcode and the blue dot, are determined to be removed, and to you can see this significant white dot, that means this tree has been determined safe and will not be cut down.

"We're here in Magalia which is one of five locations where we are doing tree removal," said McSwain on the road ahead.

The town of Paradise will account for roughly half of all hazardous trees being cut down.

"And then just like debris, we're gonna be able to put it behind us, and kind of work on the trees that weren't eligible for the program over time," said Paradise Disaster Recovery Director Katie Simmons. "But definitely making paradise safer as we move forward."

"What does this mean for the rebuilding effort in Paradise?" asked Action News.

"It's a big big step in our ability to reconstruct the town," said Simmons in response. "So we were able to build 430 homes or so in one year in what I call semi-hazardous conditions because the trees are up. Now, I like to think of the trees coming down as removing impediments for us to be able to rebuild."

And as the seasons change, crews will remain cautious.

"Yeah, we're going to be very cautious of wind because the wind is going to be a factor," said McSwain as the rain continued to pour.

Despite the rainy weather and continuous downpour, state contractors will battle through it so that they can remove any hazardous trees in the coming weeks.

The deadline to sign up for any hazardous tree removal programs is Dec. 31.

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