Cal OES Reminds 2021 Wildfire Survivors to Sign Up for Free Debris Removal Program

Sacramento, CA…As 2021 California wildfire survivors begin the process of recovering, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is reminding property owners to sign up for the State’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program (Program).

So far, debris removal work is happening on the ground with 1,308 properties in nine counties are participating in the full program element of the no cost state-managed Program, which is administered by Cal OES and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), in collaboration with county officials.  Another 144 properties are participating in the hazardous trees only element of the program.

Property owners opt into the program by submitting a Right-of-Entry form (ROE) to their county, which allows the state to begin work on their property and incur no direct costs for the removal of burned metal, concrete, ash and contaminated soil from their properties.

“Removing wildfire debris is a foundational step to ensure families can rebuild and come back home. While we’ve been able to have most eligible homeowners sign up for the state’s no cost debris removal program, we’ve extended the deadline to ensure that every eligible Californian knows about the options available to them,” said Ryan Buras, Deputy Director of Recovery at Cal OES.

Interested homeowners can still sign up for the Program by November 30, 2021. Find more information about the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, including contacts and county-specific ROE forms here.

California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program Stats

Location
Full ROEs
Hazard Tree Only ROEs
Total Eligible Trees
Alpine County
5
0
0
El Dorado County
506
33
2,998
Lake County
67
0
37
Lassen County
27
2
0
Nevada County
44
4
0
Placer County
44
4
3
Plumas County
519
97
2,347
Siskiyou County
47
1
0
Trinity County
48
3
0
Statewide
1,308
144
5,398
Property owners cannot start rebuilding until fire debris is removed from their properties and soil samples taken from the property meet state environmental health and safety standards.”

Property owners also can do the work themselves or hire a private contractor, but the work must meet the same state standards as the State Program. If work is started by the property owner or contractor, they become ineligible for the State Program.

Work Completed to Date:
 Location
Site Assessments Complete
Asbestos Assessments Complete
Asbestos Abatements Complete
Debris Removal Complete
Alpine County
4
4
1
4
El Dorado County
246
262
45
72
Lake County
64
64
40
18
Lassen County
17
23
5
0
Nevada County
32
36
17
9
Placer County
36
39
9
19
Plumas County
378
443
91
84
Siskiyou County
10
37
0
0
Trinity County
15
19
6
0
Statewide
802
927
214
206
 

Steps Left to Complete

 

Before homeowners can begin rebuilding, cleared properties need additional work including:
  • Separate contractors collect soil samples for verification at a 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 progress on the Debris Operations Dashboard for the 2021 statewide wildfires. The dashboard is updated every hour and provides users with the ability to search by county or address.

* Data as of 11/12/21 at 1:45 p.m.

About the California Consolidated Debris Removal Program:

This Program has two phases:
  • In Phase I, local government, state and federal agencies have organized teams of experts and contractors to inspect the property and assess, make safe, and/or remove any household hazardous waste that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, herbicides, pesticides, propane tanks, asbestos siding, and paints. Phase I is automatic and includes all residential properties that have been destroyed by the fires.
  • In Phase II, local, state and federal officials will coordinate to conduct fire-related debris removal from the property elected to participate in the State Program by signing a Right-of-Entry Form.
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