CalRecycle Crews Complete Thomas Wildfire Cleanup: 263,925 Tons of Debris Cleared from 672 Properties in Ventura County

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: June 14, 2018
News Release #2018-15
Media Contact: Lance Klug

SACRAMENTO–Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery have completed debris removal operations at 672 Ventura County properties destroyed by the Thomas Fire. Since January, crews have removed more than 263,000 tons of ash, debris, and contaminated soil from properties for which owners chose to participate in the state-funded cleanup program.

“The wildfires California experienced last winter were among the most destructive in state history, so cleanup efforts demanded an unprecedented response,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “CalRecycle is incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made alongside neighbors and local leaders in the City of Ventura and Ventura County to help get these communities in a position to rebuild.”

Following December’s Thomas Fire in Southern California, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) tasked CalRecycle with overseeing debris removal work in the City of Ventura and Ventura County. On Jan. 19, 2018, CalRecycle contractor crews began removing debris from participating properties. Crews completed debris removal at the final property on June 6, 2018.

BY THE NUMBERS-Thomas Fire Debris Removal
Properties in Debris Removal Program672
Debris Removal Completed672
Tons of Ash, Debris and Soil Removed 263,925
Confirmation Soil Sampling Completed670
Erosion Control Measures Installed663
Final Property Inspections Completed652

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

For more information on the Thomas Fire cleanup operations, check out

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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.