PLACERVILLE, Calif. September 19, 2018 – The County of El Dorado and the California Department of Forestry (CALFIRE) have agreed to further expand and simplify the County’s Hazardous Tree Removal Program to benefit low-income senior property owners by extending it to residents in the Auburn Lake Trails and Grizzly Flats areas of El Dorado County who have not received assistance through CAL FIRE-funded Tree Mortality grants to local Fire Safe Councils.

All applicants must be 60 years of age or older, own the property on which they reside as their primary residence, and have incomes at or below 80% of the County’s area median income (AMI). That means a household of two can now earn up to $51,300 and be eligible for the program.

Funding for the program comes from CALFIRE and Fire Protection State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund (SRAFPF) and Tree Mortality (TM) Grant. El Dorado County received approximately $200,000 to help senior citizens, remove dead and dying trees that endanger their residence. County staff is working with the Auburn Lake Trails and Grizzly Flats Fire Safe Councils to reach eligible property owners age 60 and older who may not otherwise receive help and to insure there is no duplication of assistance with CAL FIRE funding.

To meet the criteria under the Program, dead and dying trees must be: 1) greater than 10 inches in diameter and 20 feet in height; 2) must be within 300 feet of, and pose a structural threat to, the residence; and 3) must also be reasonably accessible by equipment or machinery.

“We want to remove as many eligible dead or dying trees as possible while funding is available” according to Creighton Avila, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. “Preliminary inspections and tree removal have begun,” said Avila, “but there is still time in the coming months to submit an application to participate in the program.”

Qualified homeowners must complete an application packet available from the County which asks for employment and income statements to establish eligibility for Program participation. Completed applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact the Community Development Services, Housing Community and Economic Development Program at (530) 621-5159.