Paradise & Butte Fire Safe Council team up on tree removal program | News

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Under the agreement approved at the meeting, the Butte Fire Safe Council will now be responsible for the Category 4 tree felling program, but cannot begin tree felling until federal money is received.

PARADISE, California – The Town of Paradise and the Butte Fire Safe Council are working together to remove dead trees in Paradise. The City Council approved the contract at its Tuesday night meeting.

Under the agreement approved at the meeting, the Butte Fire Safe Council will now be responsible for the Category 4 tree felling program, but cannot begin tree felling until federal money is received.

“So it’s going to be a long time before we hear from FEMA that we’re ready to go. We hope that will happen in either June or July,” said Brian Solecki, project manager at Paradise Recovery.




The tree-cutting program has been in the works since 2019, the year after the campfire devastated paradise. There are now over 11,000 trees on 574 lots in the city ready for removal.

“The Butte Fire Safe Council has strong connections within this community, they have the ability to do this work, and they’ve done quite a bit of work to date to eliminate dangerous trees,” said Colette Curtis, director of restoration and economics Development.

Paradise City Council said it wanted all tree felling work to be done by contractors in the city. That’s why he decided to join the Fire Safe Council. But because the project would use federal funds, he couldn’t guarantee local contractors would be hired for the job, something many in the community had hoped for.

“Once this contract is signed, you will no longer have the gavel,” said one speaker from the audience. “The Fire Safe Council has the hammer.”

“Our goal as a city on this project is to use these funds to fell these trees and use our local contractors, and the Butte Fire Safe Council has a long track record of working with our local contractors,” Solecki said.

According to the city, the tree felling will cost about $7 million. The entire project will cost about $10 million. The city has already applied for a state grant through CAL FIRE that would cover 25% of the cost, with federal funding covering the remainder.

The City Council also voted to send Mayor Greg Bolin to Washington DC, where he will meet with several congressional committees on wildfires to tell the story of Paradise.

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