Mountain Ranch, CA – Crews are nearing the finish line of the Butte Fire hazardous tree removal in the burn scar as they top the 90 percent mark.
Last week 7,510 trees had been falled to reach 89 percent of the work completed on both Public Right of Ways and private property. On Friday, Calaveras County officials updated that crews have cut down another 280 trees bringing the total to date to 7,790 hitting the 93 percent mark. As previously reported here, the county’s goal is to remove about 8,400 trees leaving around 610 still on the chopping block.
County spokesperson Sharon Torrence says crews are making great progress and they expect to have around 8,000 trees on the ground by Monday. However, she stresses when it gets down to the last 100 hazard trees is when it gets really tricky. “From that point on progress is going to be a bit slower because the trees that are left are the most dangerous and hardest to get to. So, it’s going to take extra time to take those trees down,” explains Torrence. She adds, “Some of them are on steep slopes and have multiple trunks or they’re huge with heavy large branches, with archeological or biological issues so they have to be taken down in a certain way.”
The work does not stop when the last tree comes down, according to Torrence, who notes that then crews must gather, load and haul away the debris, which is taken to Wallace to be chipped and finally taken to a biomass Plant in Chinese Camp. She projects that it will be a month or more before all the work will be done.
Currently, cutting crews are working on Doester, Jesus Maria, West Murray Creek, Potteroff, Cave City, Baker Riley, Warden and Whiskey Slide roads from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, weather permitting.