Property owners who had structures damaged or destroyed during this summer’s Sheep Fire may qualify to have fire debris removed at no cost to them as part of the State of California’s Debris Removal Program. Applications must be completed by December 15th, for properties to be included in the program.
The state is in the process of safely removing residential wildfire debris from over 5,600 properties across the state after more than 8,000 climate-induced wildfires burned 4.1 million acres in recent months. The coordinated effort between federal, state and local leaders is a critical step towards individual and community disaster recovery.
California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has mission tasked the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to operate the statewide Consolidated Debris Removal Program, in support of local governments, to remove debris resulting from disasters. This program gives California’s wildfire survivors a streamlined option to clear their properties with no out-of-pocket costs.
As part of California’s comprehensive wildfire recovery efforts, Cal OES coordinates with fire-impacted communities to determine the best local recovery solutions, which sometimes include locally managed debris removal programs with state technical guidance and assistance.
“California’s unprecedented 2020 fire season included three of the state’s four largest wildfires ever and set a new state record with more than 4 million acres burned,” said Cal OES Debris Removal Branch Director Kendra Bowyer. “All available resources are being mobilized to put wildfire survivors in a position to rebuild.”
Click here to download a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the program.
The State-Managed Debris Removal Program Operates in Two Phases
Phase 1 has already begun, with crews managed by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removing household hazardous waste such as paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, pesticides, compressed cylinders and tanks, and easily identifiable asbestos.
DTSC crews work to remove household hazardous waste in Phase 1 of wildfire cleanup.
Phase 2 After removing household hazardous waste, private contractor crews managed by CalRecycle will remove the remaining asbestos, assess and document properties, and clear contaminated soil, ash, metal, concrete, hazard trees, and other debris to restore properties to pre-fire conditions.
“So many communities experienced unexpected destruction during the state’s recent wildfires,” said CalRecycle Acting Director Ken DaRosa.
“CalRecycle is committed to helping California recover. We have a proven record and have worked alongside 23 local communities to ensure cleanups are conducted with a dedication to safety, integrity, and transparency.”
Next Step for Wildfire Survivors: Submit Right-of-Entry Forms to Local Government
Wildfire survivors who choose to participate in Phase 2 of the state-managed debris removal program must sign Right-of-Entry (ROE) agreements to grant cleanup crews access to their property by December 15th, 2020. Here in Lassen County property owners can request a Right-of-Entry form by emailing [email protected].
A Right-of-Entry form gives permission to the city/county and state to access your property for the purpose of cleanup activities. By signing an ROE form, you are signing up to participate in the program. The form extends permission to CalRecycle and its contactors to perform the cleanup work. Contact city/county officials to get a Right-of-Entry form.