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Cedar tree removal program cutting down wildfire fuel, free for residents

OKLAHOMA CITY – “It’s a tremendous relief; every cedar tree that I see leave is a blessing,” John Huff said.

Starting next week Huff will get rid of 100 Red Cedar trees, dangerous trees that can ignite with the smallest spark.

The recent Logan County Fire is another reason County Commissioner Brian Maughan said he is so passionate about the removal of the dangerous greenery.

“It manufactures this combustible oil in there which is why these things are so flammable,” Maughan said. “With that burning explosion those burning cinders can go several miles away which is what makes it impossible to keep these wildfires contained.”

The Eastern Red Cedar removal program started early last year.

It takes $40,000 per year to run this program, a small price tag to avoid a devastating situation.

“We’re already coming into this summer with a drought,” Maughan said. “We have obviously had a shortage of rainfall and this is not going to help.”

It’s with money raised that this program exists but Maughan is looking to expand to relieve the already long waiting list.

“We’re the only county in the state so far that’s tackling this problem and it’s obviously affecting all 77 counties,” Maughan said.

Huff said he is feeling safer knowing his property is cedar tree-free.

“We’ve lived for the last 17 years in this place in fear of a fire breaking out,” Huff said.

If you want to schedule a visit from the Eastern Red Cedar eradication crew, call County Commissioner Maughan’s office at (405) 713-1502.

MORE: Keeping your home safe in wildfire season