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Many Burned Trees From 2015 Butte Fire Still Await Removal

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio / File

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio / File

Calaveras County has removed thousands of trees burned by the 2015 Butte Fire. But thousands remain on public or private property.

The county considered 8,451 trees along public roadways as potential hazards. So, the County removed them, chipped them and turned them into biomass.

The Calaveras County's Sharon Torrence says that's phase one of the project.

"Phase two would be trees that have died since the original inspection by the arborist that he determined would possibly make it, that haven't -- that have since died," Torrence says.

Torrence says there are about 1,500 trees that fall into the phase two category. The county is waiting for approval to remove them.

"We're waiting to hear back from FEMA  [ the Federal Emergency Management Agency ] on whether or not the same rules and regulations that were approved for the phase one program can apply to phase two," she says.
The number of trees in phase one may increase. About two dozen people who did not file the required paperwork to have their trees removed have since filed the paperwork late.

More than 122,000 cubic yards of logs and other debris were taken to the Waste to Energy biomass plant in Sonora.

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