|Published:||Jul 12, 2012 6:42 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 12, 2012 6:55 PM EDT|
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The city of Cape Coral's effort to reduce the risk of wildfire. Crews spent the day cutting down invasive trees in the Oasis Woods bordering neighborhoods and schools.
The sound of chopping wood and heavy machinery near Raymond Christensen's home fills him with relief. "The only fear we have is the fire. And several times we've come close. Mother nature has put a scare into us," he said.
His house is one of dozens sitting feet from the 51-acres of city owned property called Oasis Woods. An estimated 60 percent of it is filled with the invasive Melaleuca tree -- that can easily catch fire.
"It's just a matter of time before something's going to happen," said Christensen. Neighbors took their concerns to the city, and the city took action.
"We are very supportive of this, it's getting rid of exotic trees on the city park property," said Cape Coral Environmental Biologist Kraig Hankins.
Forestry Resources Ecological, Inc and Cooper Timber Harvesting are removing three types of invasive trees including Melaleuca at no cost to the city: grinding them up and taking them away to be recycled into landscape mulch.
They're leaving behind the native trees and are cautions about local wildlife. "We try to be very sensitive to the native plants and also ensuing gopher tortises along this site, those burrows have all been flagged we know where they're at," said Forestry Resources Ecological, Inc President Rick Joyce.
"I'm going to miss the woods but they'll grow back. But my house wont grow back if I lose that," said Christensen.
So far, crews have chopped through 30 acres. Work is expected to continue through this week and into the next, depending on the weather.
- Charlotte Academy student embarassed, mother angry
- FCAT writing results show improvement for Lee students
- Investigators: suspect lit flares in attic of Gateway home
- Collier deputies arrest 12 y/o girl for library bomb threat
- Dog tests positive for rabies in Charlotte County
- U.S. Rep Connie Mack announces divorce
- Burglary suspect casually takes items from unlocked vehicle
- Third-grade FCAT math and reading scores static
- Naples Town Hall Speakers Series suspends 2014 season
- Lee County pursuit ends in crash in Collier County