Wildfire Debris Nearly Cleared in Southern California Cleanup Mission

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: July 8, 2019
News Release #2019-15
Media Contact: Lance Klug

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.

Burned Malibu property
Burned Malibu Property 2

Photos of a property 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 OperationsLA County (Woolsey)Ventura County (Woolesy/Hill)Butte County (Camp)
Participating properties82510110,737
Step 1–Site Assessment and Documentation
Sites assessed8241019,918
Asbestos surveys completed8241019,704
Step 2–Debris Removal
Debris removal completed821996,429
Step 3–Confirmation Sampling
Sample results approved795943,580
Step 4–Erosion Control Measures
Erosion control completed717822,574
Step 5–Final Inspection
Final inspection completed689801,950

Debris Removal Tonnage as of July 2, 2019

Type of WasteWoolsey Fire (Los Angeles) Debris RemovalWoolsey/Hill Fire (Ventura) Debris RemovalCamp Fire (Butte) Debris Removal
Ash, debris, and soil230,316 tons28,668 tons1,321,015 tons
Concrete73,741 tons12,999 tons397,221 tons
Metal5,164 tons794 tons29,522tons
Contaminated soil60,503 tons6,940 tons333,086 tons
Total,724 tons
(739 million lbs.)
49,401 tons
(98 million lbs.)
2,080,844 tons
(4.1 billion lbs.)


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             
900 Fortress St.                     
Chico, CA  95973
(530) 399-0434

Los Angeles County/Ventura County DROC
26610 Agoura Road
Calabasas, CA  91302
(626) 979-5370 

Property owners who prefer 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:

For more information contact, the Office of Public Affairs, opa@calrecycle.ca.gov

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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.