SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Residents in Tierrasanta say non-native palm trees are taking over sensitive habitat and posing a big fire threat. On Wednesday, an operation got underway to haul hundreds of the trees out of local canyons using a helicopter.

Nonprofit organization San Diego Canyonlands partnered with the City of San Diego and San Diego River Conservancy for the project.

The plan is to remove over 300 mature palm trees out of several canyon areas in Tierrasanta including Rueda Canyon. 

According to organizers, cutting the trees and hauling them using trucks would be costly and would require building a road.

Helicopters will be hauling the trees out through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.