SACRAMENTO – Continuing the state’s commitment to help communities affected by last year’s wildfires in their recovery, crews have reached a major milestone in the effort to remove eligible debris generated by the Mountain, McKinney, and Mill fires from properties in Siskiyou County whose owners are participating in California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program.
To date, crews have cleared damaged metal, concrete, ash, and contaminated soil generated by the three fires from 146 properties. These properties represent 81.1 percent of the 180 properties taking part in the full debris removal program. Another 21 properties are taking part in the element of the program limited to mitigating hazardous trees.
Participating property owners incur no direct costs under this program administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), and collaborating county officials.
California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program Statistics
Following the fires, property owners were presented the option to enroll in the State Program by submitting a Right of Entry (ROE) permit application to county officials or hiring a licensed contractor to perform the work, which is required to meet the same state standards as the State Program.
Prior to the start of debris removal, the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) removes batteries, pesticides, paints, and other household hazardous waste (HHW). Assessment teams then conduct site evaluations to document property lines, the locations of subterranean infrastructure such as septic tanks and wells, and other pertinent data including items the property owner would like saved. Lastly, certified asbestos contractors assess the property for asbestos containing materials for later removal.
To date, crews have completed site assessments and asbestos surveys on 176 of the 180 properties in the full debris removal program. Abatement crews have removed bulk quantities of asbestos containing materials from 95 properties.
Remaining Steps to Completion
Before property owners can begin rebuilding, cleared properties require the following additional measures:
- Soil samples collected by contractors for laboratory verification that they meet state environmental health and safety standards.
- Erosion control measures installed as needed.
- Certified arborists or professional foresters to assess wildfire-damaged trees in danger of falling on the public or public infrastructure for removal by separate contractors.
- Finally, state officials will inspect the property to verify all completed work meets state standards. Debris officials submit a final inspection report to local officials to approve the property for reconstruction.
To date, 29 properties have completed the entire debris removal process and been returned to county officials for permitting and the start of the reconstruction process.
Siskiyou County wildfire survivors participating in the State Consolidated Debris Removal Program can access an informational dashboard that provides details of the cleanup progress. The Debris Operations Dashboard for the Mountain, Mill, and McKinney wildfires is updated every hour and provides users with the ability to sort by branch or county via the filters at the top of the page. Users can also search by address via the magnifying glass icon at the top of the map to access the debris removal data of their property.