SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento woman is terrified of the approaching fire season as she says the dry brush near her home along Business 80 creates the perfect atmosphere for a firestorm.
Jeannie Little says she’s tried to get CalTrans to remove the debris near her home. She says that for five years, CalTrans hasn’t cleaned it up.READ MORE: Who Is Mark Lavea, Suspect Killed In San Andreas Hostage Situation?
She’s had two close calls before, as a fence there burned down twice. CalTrans says the trees aren’t considered hazardous.
“When you get older, you think, ‘I’m still here!’ ” said Little.
Little says she’s grateful. She survived the pandemic, and her home has been her oasis. But now she says it’s become a risk to her life.
“It’s frightening. It’s a fear, and it’s a real fear,” she said.
Drone 13 captures images of the aging trees and brush lining the power lines behind her home.
Little says there’s been a dead almond tree there for years – something she calls “fire fuel.”
The problem keeps her son Joe up at night as we enter fire season. He says he’s worried about his mom.
“What you’ve got there is a whole block long of fire ladders where dead stuff and weeds are entangled with live stuff in very flammable trees,” he said.READ MORE: Trap, Tag, Haze: New Efforts To Get Bears To Behave In Tahoe Area
Both Joe and Jeannie say they’ve tried to get CalTrans to remove the trees for five years.
CalTrans says their tree supervisor has been out to look at the trees.
But CalTrans leaders say the trees in question are not dead or hazardous and would only be removed if they pose a risk to the public.
Little says CalTrans has been out seven times to mow the property but hasn’t gotten rid of the trees or thatch.
“They haven’t maintained those trees at all,” she said.
There have been fires on the freeway embankment before.
As she braces for fire season, she’s just worried the smallest spark could mean a risk to her life.
“It could come in the middle of the night and I’d be trapped in the front bedroom,” she said.MORE NEWS: Yuba City Neighborhood 'Traumatized' After High Speed Drivers Repeatedly Crash Into Homes
CalTrans says they come out annually to monitor the trees, they will be out doing trimming work on the trees around the power lines.