Camp Fire Hazard Tree Removal

Hazard trees

Camp Fire recovery efforts from California’s deadliest wildfire are entering a new phase, which includes the removal of fire-damaged trees in danger of falling in Paradise and surrounding communities. The state is awarding four contracts: two to help manage the mass tree removal operation as Butte County works to gain permission from property owners to access affected land through Right-of-Entry agreements; and two for the licensed timber operators who will fell the trees.

In 2018, the Camp Fire left 85 people dead and over 13,000 homes destroyed or severely damaged. Following the completion of structural debris removal in November 2019, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) tasked CalRecycle with managing the safe removal of fire-damaged trees in danger of falling on public rights of way, public facilities, or private roads that serve as critical access for services to residents.

The state-managed tree removal program consists of two phases:

Phase 1 – Identification of trees posing a hazard to the public by certified foresters and arborists.

  • Hazard tree assessment: Conducted by certified arborists, under the direction of registered professional foresters. State-managed assessment staff started this step on Monday, August 24, and will continue as ROEs are received. Property owners will recognize state-contracted assessment teams by their safety vests with Arcadis or MGE logos.  Their vehicles will also have a laminated lime green HTRP placard.

Phase 2 – Safe removal of hazard trees, sending them to their best use.

  • Hazard tree removal: CalRecycle is contracting with two licensed timber operators to remove trees identified by the foresters and arborists. One tree removal contractor will remove hazard trees within the Town of Paradise and the other will remove trees from areas of unincorporated Butte County affected by the Camp Fire.
  • Delivery to end use facilities: The two tree-removal firms will deliver the trees to appropriate end-use and disposal facilities. CalRecycle encourages contractors to deliver these wood materials to facilities that can utilize them as a natural resource.

For the status of contracting for this project, visit the CalRecycle contracts page.

Property owner sign-up

Fire-damaged trees that endanger the public health must be removed. Camp Fire survivors can sign up for the government-managed program with no out-of-pocket costs to property owners. They can also choose to remove any hazard trees themselves, hire someone to do it for them, or have an independent arborist certify that their trees are already cleared.

Over two-thirds of affected property owners have responded to Butte County’s call to sign up for the State-managed program or opt to manage the tree removal themselves. Those who have not yet responded should visit the county’s dedicated website at

Project contractors

To remove the hundreds of thousands of fire-damaged trees in danger to general public, the state is awarding four contracts: two licensed timber operators who will fell the trees, one to assess which trees are a danger as well as monitor and document the work in the field, and one to aid the state with finance and administrative tasks.

For the status of contracting for this project, visit the CalRecycle contracts page.