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Following the 150,000-acre Camp Fire in 2018, the extensive work to identify and remove of hazardous trees created a need for managing tree removal operations, including planning, finance and logistics.
Our experts leveraged existing subcontractor relationships to assemble a specialized team of arborists and foresters. They also developed digital solutions to collect and manage key data used in decision-making.
The subcontractor partnerships ensured hard-hit communities got tree removal support, and the digital solutions enabled the team to identify and address inefficiencies in fulfilling FEMA requirements.
Managing the safe removal of damaged and dying trees
In 2018, California was ravaged by one of the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history. The Camp Fire swept through more than 150,000 acres of land, destroying homes, businesses, and natural habitats along the way. After the flames were extinguished, The California Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery (CalRecycle) needed to manage the safe marking and removal of hazard trees to ensure public safety and start restoring what was lost.
Executing the hazard tree removal against an expedited schedule would be a monumental task. CalRecycle partnered with Arcadis to plan and manage a data-driven operation that would safely and effectively clear the dead or dying trees.
Building and equipping a robust, certified team
Arcadians on the core team had experience in large-scale wildfire debris removal management, but the unprecedented workload required a robust team to plan and supervise tree removals. By tapping into longstanding partnerships in the state, we secured a subconsultant who could supplement the roster with International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ), and Registered Professional Forester (RPF) staff. Our team also secured an ISA TRAQ instructor to train additional arborists as needed.
With the right partnerships in place, the team developed digital solutions that enabled real-time data to be shared in ways that would enhance decision-making and fulfill daily deliverable requirements. Field data is collected digitally, and Arcadis’ global resources and expertise enabled around-the-clock data management and reporting.
Proactively addressing community recovery
The Arcadis team has supported California and several counties on numerous debris and tree removal management projects in response to wildfire events, including hundreds of thousands of acres of land and thousands of homes in multiple communities. Having seen firsthand how destructive these fires can be, our future focus will be working with the state of California to apply lessons learned to more efficiently and effectively support wildfire response activities.