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Placer County To Pay $3 Million To Remove Beetle-Infested Trees

  

Placer County has approved the removal of 1,800 trees that are dead or dying from a bark beetle infestation.

The county will pay about $1,700 per tree or a total of three million dollars.

John McEldowney with the Placer County Office of Emergency Services, says the trees will be removed to reduce fire risk.

"We'll probably end up hiring tree-removal companies -contractors to come in and cut them down and either haul them off, take them away to a storage location or some other facility to be determined or possibly chipped on site depending on what's the best situation, the best use of the material for the county."

The county will consider burning the trees using an air-curtain incinerator.

McEldowney says he couldn't find a sawmill to take the trees to be used for lumber.

"Cutting down trees that are dead are much more expensive. They can't just be felled at the base. They have to be sectioned for safety reasons. A dead tree is much more structurally unsound. So, it's very dangerous to climb and cut it down. Most tree contractors will not do it that way."

The county hopes to recover about 75 percent of the cost of the removal by securing a state grant.

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency because of the beetle infestation that has killed an estimated 66 million trees.