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Father, son chainsaw artists preserve trees burned in Paradise during Camp Fire

A father and son are transforming damaged trees into art that will pay for new trees. These trees will replace the ones lost in the Camp Fire.

PARADISE, Calif — Burned trees from the Camp Fire are getting a new life in the town of Paradise. 

Local chainsaw artist Dan Forschler and his son Aaron Forschler are on a mission to preserve what’s left of Paradise's wildfire-stricken trees. 

The father and son chainsaw artist duo have been making wooden bears in the area for a number of years. For many locals, the wooden bears are somewhat of a staple. 

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“We sold bears before the fire. It’s a small thing, but, when people see me doing this now, they start crying,” said Forschler. 

The tall trees were one of the most notable features of Paradise. It will take a long time for the trees to grow back, but Dan has come up with an idea. 

“Each of the carvings that we sell, we will plant new trees, so, in the spring, we will get a bunch of seedlings and give out a bunch of baby trees to everyone,” said Forschler. 

Every carving Dan and his son makes is from wood burned by the Camp Fire, and, in the past few months, they’ve gone through a lot of wood.

“We got about 2,000 bears out of trees, so we will plant about 4,000 trees, “ said Aaron. 

You can see Daniel and Aaron’s work all over Paradise. They’re on people’s property and in the local craft show. 

His most notable carving is just off Skyway Road. Forschler calls it the Tree of Hope, and he says it symbolizes new beginnings. 

“It’s got an eagle over the top of the tree, and the tree symbolizes what was here, and the eagle is, you know - we are Americans - and it flies over the top. It’s strong,” said Forschler. 

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