Hazardous tree on the Emerald Fire

Hazardous tree

Above: Hazardous tree on the Emerald Fire. CAL FIRE Amador-El Dorado photo.

CAL FIRE described this as one of the “many enormous hazard trees on the Emerald Fire. This tree has nearly an eight-foot diameter.”

Hazardous tree
Hazardous tree on the Emerald Fire. CAL FIRE Amador-El Dorado photo.

The Emerald Fire burned 176 acres on the south end of Lake Tahoe near Emerald Bay in California when it started on October 14. After being pushed initially by very strong winds gusting up to 55 mph the spread has been stopped by firefighters — and heavy precipitation. The removal of hazardous trees from Highway 89 and around residences is ongoing. Debris continues to impact the roadway due to the high winds and torrential rains.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Hazardous tree on the Emerald Fire”

  1. For someone who knows about the use of explosives.

    I have a a very limited knowledge of blasting. Would it be possible to wrap a tree with this with explosive cord and take it down that way if in a remote location? Less risk then exposing a sawyer to the tree?

  2. Firefighters have used the same det cord that they use to construct fireline, to wrap hazardous trees and fell them that way. The question in this case is, how much det cord would be needed to deal with an 8-foot diameter tree? Would there be too much collateral damage?

  3. Rough math suggests that for an eight foot diameter tree, approximately 231 pounds of TNT would be needed to fell this tree with an external charge. This equates to roughly 139 pounds of typical military strength det cord. Even with an internal, tamped charge, it would take roughly 37 pounds of TNT.

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