Keep an eye out for marked trees
The Labor Day wildfires left behind an estimated 300,000 hazard trees across the state. Each tree could fall unexpectedly and harm someone or damage a structure, so they must be cut down.
But we have to identify the trees first. Our contractors have been on the ground since December 2020 assessing and marking hazard trees for removal. You might have seen some: they're marked with blue dots, barcode stickers, or other similar markings.
Tree marking is currently happening on public and private land. It's a long, laborious process that will continue for several months in tandem with debris removal work.
The U.S. Forest Service classifies a hazard tree as a tree that has a structural defect that makes it likely to fail in whole or in part.
After a fire, damaged trees can create dangerous hazards in the forest, so be wary of burned trees and trees without needles or leaves. Even green, healthy looking trees could be a hazard: the normal-looking exterior hides the burned, hollowed out devastation inside. Weather conditions, such as rain, wind and snow, can cause problems, too. They can destabilize a damaged tree and cause it to fall.
So the next time you're out on your property, enjoying a hike, or driving through a burned area, keep your eyes open for hazard trees, whether they're marked or not. If you have to be near them on foot, be especially careful.
Learn more about how we assess hazard trees and what happens after we cut them down on the debris cleanup website.