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Extensive tree removal continues in Santa Cruz County

Trees in Santa Cruz Mountains

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) The CZU Complex Fires in August left thousands of trees in danger of falling on roadways and homes. Over the last several months, tree trimming crews and Santa Cruz County public works have been clearing areas ahead of winter weather conditions that could cause more trees to fall.

“We’re going to start getting weather and wind, and we’re going to see some storms blow through," Assistant Director of Public Works Steve Wiesner said. "Under normal circumstances were going to see healthy trees come down, so we anticipate we’re going to see a lot of trees falling in county maintained roads.”

The latest Red Flag Warning was a cause for concern, too. Santa Cruz County is included in the current large-scale PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff event, which impacted almost 14,000 PG&E customers in the Santa Cruz Mountains. However, overnight only one tree in the county fell onto a county road.

Arborists will continue assessing trees for several more months.

“Swanton road alone, which is somewhere between six or seven miles long has 1,100 trees that have been assessed as dangerous near the public right of way,” Wiesner said.

The total tree assessment for public works in the fire scorched areas is only about 30-40 percent complete.

“We’re coming back pretty quickly after assessment teams and removing those and trees. On private property we’re seeking permission from private property owners, and we’re working with them too,” Wiesner said.

If you have concerns about trees that could fall on your property, reach out to public works. The county says to be extra aware of your surroundings if you’re in a fire impacted area.

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Drew Andre

Drew Andre is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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