PARADISE, Calif. - The Town of Paradise and Cal OES held a press conference to update the Ridge Communities on the hazardous tree removal progress.
Officials said there are a total of 90,000 hazardous trees that need to be removed from the Camp Fire burn scar, and even though crews have spent almost five months getting rid of dead trees, there is still a ways to go.
"This tree removal program is an intricate part of our recovery and is well on its way to winding down," Paradise Mayor Steve Crowder said.
Cal OES and the Town of Paradise said they're nearing the halfway point of removing all dead or hazardous trees within the burn scar like the trees with blue dots on them, but statistics show that they're still a ways out. Some homeowners decided to take their own measures to get rid of their own trees.
"We would have too many sleepless nights when the wind blew, so we would have to sleep towards the front of the house instead of the back of the house," Jamie Johnston, a Paradise resident said.
For Johnston and her husband, the tree removal program didn't come fast enough.
"We were waiting for Cal OES to come and take down the trees that were already marked and it kept taking too long," she said. "This I believe is the tree that I had to pay to take down with my own money."
Money she said she'll never see again.
"What about the homeowners who did it themselves?" asked Action News Now during the press conference.
"Unfortunately, there is no way that we can reimburse for that," responded Mayor Crowder. "We sympathize, we've all been through the same thing. I had my trees taken out myself," he said, "Because I wanted to rebuild and I know not everyone had that opportunity."
But for one mother of four, the tree program is exactly what she needed.
"I was grateful for it," Cassandra Walling, a mother of four, said. "When we have those windy nights, your biggest fear is definitely a tree falling on you." "My house is going to be delivered next month. I've been in a trailer with four kids and two dogs for more than two years now," she said.
Cal OES said they are removing around 500 trees per day while working six days a week, as long as weather permits.
The tree removal program is expected to be completed by early to mid-summer of this year.