HAPPY CAMP, Calif. -- A Happy Camp town hall on Wednesday reflected on the dangers that are still threatening a normal way of life.
"As you can see in the days that have passed, our focus has changed from life-saving to the recovery and the security in protecting you from the dangers and the hazards," said Interim Siskiyou County Sheriff Karl G. Hautman.
The first danger that officials have in mind is hazardous trees. The Slater Fire, which has burned 150,230 acres in Josephine and Siskiyou Counties, burned through the forest area that surrounds the town of Happy Camp. While destroying 438 structures, the fire did serious damage to the trees that still surround the properties.
If those trees were to fall, they could land on a person or a building. Officials say that they have to eliminate the tree hazards before they let people back into dangerous areas. A lot of work in eliminating those hazards includes completely cutting trees down.
As winter approaches, how residents will take care of them through the cold months is a major area of concern. Officials also said that when trees are cut down, they will be marked with the address they were on. The parts of the trees that are recoverable will be turned into logs and given to the property owner.
Another area of concern that was on the mind of some residents at the town hall, was damaged bridges that are now keeping workers and residents from crossing rivers and creeks. Officials say the problem is still being worked on. The bridges will have to be rebuilt or repaired before those areas are opened back up.
The Emergency Operations Center is finishing up a list of damaged properties that have been counted and observed. EOS Director Jasen Vela said the list would be done by Wednesday night. It was still in question whether residents could call and check on the properties on Wednesday or possibly Thursday.
To check on damaged property, call 530-643-3662.