Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 17, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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January 17, 2001

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2,4B Wcdr~es(:av J~ !7, 20(}I Buletin, Progressive, I Two area Caltrans supervisors were part of the team called in to bring down the old tree. Here, they drill holes low in the trunk, to hold the charges. Steady hands set the charges in the holes that were previ- ously drilled in the tree trunk. Charges were ready in the rugged trunk, and ignition wires were in place for the blast. Photos submitted Ignition was captured by still-framing a videotaped image. Caltrans Maintenance Supervisor Katherine Coots was on hand to watch as a big, dead tree was blasted down. One oc the spectators asked if he could hear it when the blast occurred. Coots said she laughed and said, ayes." When the explosion occurred, she said it was one of those that was loud enough to jiggle your insides. ...,,~,~:'~:" : ~:; - ...... ....... Traffic was stopped along Highway 32 in December as Caltrans crews prepared to remove a dead tree that was threatening the roadway. By Victoria Metcalf Staff Writer When timber fallers deter- mine "a dead tree along High- way 32 was too dangerous to cut down, three trained dyna- mite experts from Caltrans stepped in to do the job. And. as the job .unfolded, it also became a training exer- cise, videotaped for future needs, said Katherine Coots, Caltrans maintenance superin- tendent. Coots said that a mainte- nance team traveling along Highway 32 from Chester into Butte County happened to spot the dead tree. It wasn't readily visible from the highway, but was back up on the hillside, Coots ex- plained. Checking it out, they deter- mined it was just a matter of time and luck until the very tall tree came crashing down across the highway. Contacting timber fallers, Caltrans was told it was too dangerous to fall the tree in conventional ways, Coots said. And, that's when it was de- cided that a little black powder and some know how would do the job. Blasting away As the three supervisors In December, three area Cal- were preparing the tree, Coots trans supervisors and trained said videotape rolled for a fu- blasters, Ken Fitch of Pulga, ture training exercise, and Jim Cox of Quincy, and Mark traffic was stopped at a safe Vukich of Chester, put their distance away from the blast heads and their experience to- site. gether and determined how to To capture the actual blast, bring the tree down. Coots said the video tech set Three area Caltrans supervisors, Ken Fitch, Jim Cox and Mark for setting the dynamite and bringing down the dead tree. 1 up a special camera near the site and the action unfolded. Once the cha placed in holes trunk of the tree, they were set off, came down, elimin er hazard from the r l lm Vukich, were "Allure" Hide-A-Chaise Rocker II , 729. LANE LEATHER RECLINER "Storm" Chaise Rocker Recliner 799. I iE LEATHER RECLINER i ! Chaise Rocker Recliner ! Compare 999. Land IN BUSINESS 25 YEARS Carpet One OPEN MON.-SAT.- 2830 MAIN STREET " SUSANVILLE . 257-7788