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Half a million trees burned by Camp Fire threaten those rebuilding

Nearly half a million trees burned by the Camp Fire may be in danger of falling down. Action News Now Reporter Christina Vitale got more details to break down the threat to people rebuilding on the ridge.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 4:56 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - Nearly half a million trees burned by the Camp Fire may be in danger of falling down.

400,000 dead or dying trees are endangering people, homes, and roadways. Who's responsible for removing them? Turns out - it's Camp Fire survivors.

Treasurer for the Butte Fire Safe Council Jim Broshears said Paradise and Butte County will take care of burned trees on public roads only.

"The right-of-way road isn't very deep so when you look out at a road and then you look at the trees in front of us the trees are just off the right-of-way not in the right-of-way," Broshears said. "So those trees are my responsibility as a private property owner.

However, those threes could impact public places.

They could fall on Pentz road and you know it could kill someone and then it would close the road," Broshears said.

Broshears said they've reached out for additional funding.

"At least dealing with those trees and removing trees that would affect public and private roads that request has been put in through the town and county and is awaiting word," Broshears said.

Broshears cut down trees threatening his home but said more troublesome trees remain.

"The decision making process people have to make right now is how much money do I spend," Broshears said. "It's pretty much going to be based on whether they have insurance and whether they can be safe on their property and rebuild."

Kristin Milinkevich said her home survived the Camp Fire.

"It's a concern I try not to get too close to the trees and try to make sure I keep myself away from them," Milinkevich said.

She had an arborist take down her hazardous trees but seeing burned trees around town is still a worry.

"The one back there that looks pretty toasted I wouldn't want to have my kid near it," Milinkevish said. "I have seen ones on my property just fall randomly so it does worry me a little. In general, I do feel the towns trying their best to take care of the right-of-ways and the streets and such to keep us safe when we're driving."

Broshears said its not just safety it certainly is safety number one.  "You know its also economic recovery I mean what decision can you make based on the expense of the trees," Broshears said.

Butte Creek Canyon is the fire area crews will be working to remove trees affecting public roadways.

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