Oakland Hills residents hire company to cut down over 200 trees ahead of peak fire season

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As the peak months of the fire season approaches, concerned Oakland Hills residents secure $20,000 in grants to help Oakland's vegetation management.

Leading these efforts are volunteers from the Friends of Sausal Creek nonprofit.

"We live in this," said Wendy Tokuda, Friends of Sausal Creek volunteer and Former Bay Area news personality. "We can see the danger and more and more of us are getting concerned about doing what we can to help Oakland out to get some of the fuel load."

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The tree removal was approved and inspected by Oakland's arborist, park services and the city's vegetation management supervisor.

"We are not here just cutting any trees, we are thinning out the ones that are crowding the forest," said Tokuda.

Ed Evans, owner of Arbor Day Tree Care has been in tree business for 30 years and is seeing an increase of dry vegetation across the Bay Area.

"We had several dead trees in this area and they were leading up the hill," described Evans.
His team cleared brush for three to four acres and removed over 200 trees. Their plan is to prevent overcrowding of smaller trees.

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Stanford scientists concluded that climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme autumn wildfires.

Oakland Assistant Fire Marshal, Vince Crudele praised efforts of these community members

"It takes some time to advance so any reduction in that fuel load slows that spread of the fire and helps us get on scene and take control of the fire before it gets out of hand," said Crudele.

Evans sees communities taking charge as the future of fire mitigation, "It's a start. If more people get interested and get involved and more resources are put toward this you can make all California safer."

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