CalTrans crews have begun removing 8,000 dead and diseased trees along State Route 155. Spokesman Christian Luekens says the trees pose a fire hazard in the Kern River Valley and can cause an even bigger problem if they fall into the roadway and block emergency services.

Luekens says they are using GPS to find the trees, then tag them with a bright orange paint before removing them. CalTrans is also asking nearby homeowners to take down the ones found on their property.

Kelli Forsch