Wildfire Debris Nearly Cleared in Southern California Cleanup Mission


SACRAMENTO – Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery are nearing completion of wildfire debris removal from properties destroyed in the Woolsey and Hill fires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Workers cleared more than 419,000 tons – or 838 million pounds – of ash, debris, metal, concrete, and contaminated soil from 920 properties as part of California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program.

“With the remnants of the Woolsey and Hill fires removed, fire survivors and their communities can begin a new phase in the recovery process that is focused on the future,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Once again, California has shown the incredible progress we can make together when tragedy is met with resolve, resources, and the resiliency of these local communities.

Final soil testing, the installation of erosion control measures, and final property inspections in Los Angeles and Ventura counties are on track to be complete in the coming weeks. Upon final inspections, property owners receive certification from their county that verifies their lot is clean and eligible to receive a building permit.

Photos of two participating properties in Malibu, Calif. show parcels before and after wildfire debris is removed by state-managed crews.

Meanwhile, Northern California wildfire debris removal crews have cleared more than 4 billion pounds of debris from 6,429 Butte County properties destroyed in the Camp Fire – or more than half of all 10,737 participating properties.

Statewide Wildfire Debris Removal Progress Report as of July 7, 2019

Order of Operations LA County (Woolsey) Ventura County (Woolsey/Hill) Butte County (Camp)
Participating properties 825 101 10,737
Step 1 – Site Assessment and Documentation
Sites assessed 824 101 9,918
Asbestos surveys completed 824 101 9,705
Step 2 – Debris Removal
Debris removal completed 821 99 6,429
Step 3 – Confirmation Sampling
Sample results approved 795 94 3,580
Step 4 – Erosion Control Measures
Erosion control completed 717 82 2,574
Step 5 – Final Inspection
Final inspection completed 689 80 1,950


Debris Removal Tonnage as of July 2, 2019

Type of Waste Woolsey Fire (Los Angeles) Debris Removal Woolsey/Hill Fire (Ventura) Debris Removal Camp Fire (Butte) Debris Removal
Ash, debris, and soil 230,316 tons 28,668 tons 1,321,015 tons
Concrete 73,741 tons 12,999 tons 397,221 tons
Metal 5,164 tons 794 tons 29,522 tons
Contaminated soil 60,509 tons 6,940 tons 333,086 tons
Total 369,825 tons

(739 million lbs.

49,401 tons

(98 million lbs.)

2,080,844 tons

(4.1 billion pounds)


California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program

Implemented under the leadership of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and local governments, the Consolidated Debris Removal Program offers survivors of the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires a streamlined option to clear their properties.

  • Following the removal of household hazardous waste from burned parcels (Phase 1), CalRecycle oversees and manages contractors to conduct Phase 2 of debris removal operations at no out-of-pocket cost to property owners.
  • Affected residents can find answers to their questions about the Phase 2 debris removal process by emailing inquiries to debrisquestions@caloes.ca.gov or by contacting local representatives at the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC) in their community:

Butte County DROC             Los Angeles County/Ventura County DROC

900 Fortress St.                     26610 Agoura Road

Chico, CA  95973                   Calabasas, CA  91302

(530) 399-0434                       (626) 979-5370

Property owners who wish to conduct their own cleanup or hire private contractors to remove wildfire debris may do so, but they should be aware of local safety and environmental standards and requirements. Find more information on alternate cleanup programs and find additional resources for wildfire survivors on the following local recovery websites:

Website | CalRecycle Blog |News Releases | Public Meetings | Climate Investments | Organics | Bottles and Cans
CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.


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