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FEMA-funded tree removal in Black Forest finished

Published On: May 08 2014 07:26:19 PM CDT

El Paso County hires contractors to cut down 60 miles of trees burned in last summer's wildfire.

BLACK FOREST, Colo. -

Black Forest is a bit safer now, after the removal of thousands of trees burned in last summer's wildfire that could have fallen and caused property damage or injury.

The trees were considered hazards and were too close to roads, utility lines and property owned or maintained by El Paso County.

The county received a $1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for the project.  The county hired two contractors to manage the project and remove the trees.

County Engineer Andre Brackin said the county spent less than $1 million on the project.

"We recognize that there are still a lot more trees in the public right-of-way that should be taken out," he said.  "Our department will be working on those over time.  We're talking about the smaller trees."

Many Black Forest residents continue to struggle with the cost of cutting down burned trees on private property.  A FEMA spokesman said there is no emergency money available for that purpose.

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