Properties Damaged in Castle Fire Returned to Tulare County


SACRAMENTO – All 230 properties in Tulare County whose owners enrolled in California’s statewide Consolidated Debris Removal Program after last year’s Castle Fire have cleared the entire debris removal process and been returned to county officials to begin the permitting process for reconstruction.

Property owners had the option of participating in either the state’s full debris removal program or program’s hazardous tree removal only element.

The 230 Tulare County properties returned to county officials include 139 whose owners chose to participate in the full debris removal program and 91 parcels whose owners chose to take part the hazardous trees only element of the program.

The return to local officials of the final properties in Tulare County marks the end of the state’s debris removal operations in the Central Valley related to the Castle and Creek fires.

In October, state debris officials returned the last of 276 properties in Fresno County whose owners chose to participate in the state debris program after the Creek Fire.  Two hundred sixty-nine of the 276 participated in the full program; the other seven took part in the hazardous trees only element.

In late July, the last of 24 properties in Madera County whose owners chose to take part in the full debris removal program completed the entire process and were returned to county officials.  No properties Madera County participated in the hazardous trees only element of the program

To date, 4,004 or 89.6 percent, of 4,468 properties statewide participating in either the full or hazardous trees only element of the program have been returned to their respective county to begin the permitting process.

In 2020, over 8,000 climate-induced wildfires burned 4.2 million acres of California, destroying more than 5,700 homes. Property owners incur no direct costs for participation in the state-managed clean up and recovery program, administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) in collaboration with 25 participating counties.

Major Clearing Work: 100 Percent Complete

Earlier this month, crews completed the removal of burned metal, concrete, ash, and contaminated soil generated by the 2020 wildfires from 100% percent of the properties enrolled in full program element of California’s statewide Consolidated Debris Removal Program.

Wildfire survivors had the option to either use their own contractor or enroll in the state-managed program. Of the 5,991 properties with damage from the 2020 fires, 3,828 signed up to have the remains of their homes and other structures cleared by the state.  Another 640 property owners chose to participate in the hazardous trees only element of the program.

Steps County Properties Percentage
Madera 24 100%
Tulare 139 100%
Statewide 3,828 100%
Madera 24 100%
Tulare 230 60.4%
Statewide 4,004 89.6%


Steps Left to Complete

Before homeowners can begin rebuilding, cleared properties need additional work including:

  • Separate contractors collect soil samples for verification at a state certified laboratory that they meet state environmental health and safety standards.
  • Contractors next may install erosion control measures.
  • Certified arborists or professional foresters assess wildfire-damaged trees in danger of falling on the public or public infrastructure for removal by separate contractors.
  • Finally, state officials 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.

Property owners can track the above data on the Debris Operations Dashboard for the 2020 statewide wildfires. The dashboard is updated every hour and provides users with the ability to search by county or address.

* Data as December 2, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.