California Launches Statewide Wildfire Cleanup: State-managed Debris Removal Option Offered by Region


SACRAMENTO – The State of California has started 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 (Cal OES) has mission tasked the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 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.

Due to the regional diversity of wildfire-impacted communities in 2020, the state-managed debris removal will involve four operational branches, which include:

Bay Branch (1201 burn sites, 5 counties): Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus

Inland Branch (1,443 burn sites, 6 counties): Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo

North Branch (2,157 burn sites, 9 counties): Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity, Yuba

South Branch (823 burn sites, 5 counties): Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Tulare, Tuolumne

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.”

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 15, 2020. Property owners can submit these permission forms with their local governments.

Currently available local wildfire recovery website links:



  1. Tracey B. Trucano

    I have many questions regarding phase 2 cleanup at my residence at 7580 Pleasants Valley Rd, APN# 0102-060-030. Vacaville which I lost my home in LNU fire. I have been giving different information from Solano County throughout this process and went into their office Nov 30th and they still are unclear. I am asking for someone to contact me before entering my property due to placement of utilities, fencing and trees. I tried calling the CALOES Debri management # 916-845-8200but the messages are always full and no one answers. Im very concerned since the debri removal is very near. Can someone please call me or email me a contact to discuss property concerns. Thank you,

  2. Marc Zamora

    Can someone from your office advise the contractors (PSP) who are doing the fire cleanups to pull water from the area they are working and not from another small community that has a limited water supply. This should be a simple task of your contractors to contact the local water companies from the area they are working from to obtain a water source.

  3. steve nagle

    creek fire victims… 42153 Auberry Rd Auberry 93602 county clean up dashboard has been down for a couple days. has not been updated in almost a month. We have a metal building that needs to be delivered for erection by May 15th or we encumber $700. storage fees.

    Our property was a total loss… no insurance…we have information that rescrape was needed… soil samples have been re taken… I dont want to compromise the Fresno County clean up efforts… but we need to get clearance at least to unload our building materials on our site.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Steve Nagle- owner (559)8590906


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *