Napa Fire Complex Tree Removal


2017 Napa Fire Complex

Green House

Napa Fire Complex Tree Removal Information

We have received some calls from residents commenting on tree removals from private property. CAL FIRE, as part of cleanup from their firefighting efforts, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which has specific guidelines for clearance from their facilities, have also been involved in tree clearing efforts, but those are entirely separate from the County and the Roads Department.


Napa County has the authority and the obligation to remove vegetation and trees in the County Right of Way (ROW) that interfere with the safety of the traveling public. The County ROW varies from road to road, but generally, the ROW extends some 15- to 30-feet from the centerline of any roadway. The Roads Department will not venture outside of the ROW without written permission from the owner. Even with that written permission, we will only go on private property to address an issue affecting our roads (such as a tree with it’s trunk on private property which is getting ready to fall into the roadway).

To be clear, the County Roads Department is only removing trees in the County Right of Way, and only those that are immediately and obviously impacting the road. The County is also in the process of hiring an arborist (either a private party or from CalFire) to inventory all the trees along the burned roads that may impact our roads, and might require removal. We can only get reimbursed for trees that meet specific criteria (such as 50% of the root ball being burned), so by definition those will be only trees that will be designated for removal. Trees we intend to remove will be marked with a painted red “X.” Once the inventory is complete, we will either be hiring contractors or cooperating with CalFire to remove those identified dangerous trees. If a tree is identified that should be removed, but the tree is on private property, we will request in writing (a Right of entry form) the property owner’s permission to remove the tree. If the property owner does not give us permission this will be documented for future liability purposes and we will move on. We will not do any work outside of the ROW without the property owner’s written permission. We also cannot work on private property unless that work directly benefits the road system -- even if we are asked.

If there are any questions regarding tree or vegetation removal in the ROW, please contact your Roads Department at 944-0196.