Property owners whose trees have died or are dying because of drought will have another 90 days to remove them without having to meet certain state forestry permit requirements.
“With massive tree mortality across California, this exemption streamlines the process for landowners who are working to reduce their wildfire risk and safety hazards from falling trees by removing their dead trees,” said Helge Eng, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s deputy director of resource management.
The exemption was set to expire on Jan. 12.
The latest aerial survey estimated that more than 29 million trees have died because of the drought and bark beetle infestation, up from 3.3 million in 2014.
Winter months are typically a good time to remove dead trees because bark beetle activity generally stops in temperatures below 50 degrees. During other times of the year, when the beetles are active, trees with fresh cuts attract beetles, and the beetles spread to other trees. Once a tree is infested with bark beetles, little can be done to save it, causing the tree can die within three to four weeks, Cal Fire says.
For more information on the beetle threat and how to protect trees and property, visit www.PrepareForBarkBeetle.org.