Fact Check: What Affected Homeowners Should Know About Wildfire Debris Removal

Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery are making significant progress clearing debris from private properties destroyed by the Carr Fire in Shasta County and the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County. CalRecycle-managed crews are also set to begin debris removal on homes destroyed by the Mendocino Complex and Pawnee fires in Lake County.

Residents who wish to take advantage of the state-run debris removal program pay no out-of-pocket costs but are required to return signed right-of-entry agreements to their local governments before crews can begin work.

Incident Right-of-Entry Deadline
Klamathon Fire (Siskiyou County) Passed (Contact your local government)
Carr Fire (Shasta County/City of Redding) Sept. 30, 2018
Mendocino Complex Fire (Lake County) Sept. 28, 2018
Pawnee Fire (Lake County) Sept. 28, 2018

CalRecycle manages California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program under the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and local governments. Here are other key facts about the program:

  • California’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program is entirely state-run and managed by CalRecycle experts with more than a decade of experience in disaster debris removal.
  • The state-run program covers asbestos testing and removal; site assessments and documentation; removal of all burned debris, foundations, ash, and contaminated soil; air monitoring and dust control; soil sampling; soil re-scraping (as needed); erosion control installation; and final inspection.
  • State-managed crews follow stringent health and safety standards to help rebuild communities to the highest standards and prevent additional harm during the cleanup process.
  • Private cleanups are required to follow the same health, safety, and environmental standards as state-managed cleanups; this should be factored into any private cleanup cost estimates.
  • Over the past 15 disaster debris removal operations, the average cost per lot for CalRecycle-managed cleanups was $74,958. Per-lot costs can vary dramatically depending on geographic distribution, structures per site, access issues, environmental conditions, and distance to an acceptable disposal facility.
  • CalRecycle documents the amount of material removed, trucked, and disposed from each property to ensure fiscal and operational accountability.
  • There are no out-of-pocket costs to participating homeowners, regardless of actual cleanup costs or residential insurance coverage
  • Homeowners with insurance that specifically covers debris removal may be required to remit the portion of the insurance claim payments that are specifically reserved for that activity.
  • Property owners may be able to first utilize debris removal insurance proceeds for debris removal work that is outside the scope of the state-managed program, such as the removal of pools and driveways, and trees/fencing/outbuildings outside the ash footprint. Contact your insurance provider for specifics on your policy.

Get answers to any remaining debris removal questions by contacting representatives at the Debris Removal Operations Center in your community.

Shasta Co. Debris Removal Operations Center
1300 Hilltop Drive
Redding, CA 96003

Siskiyou Co. Debris Removal Operations Center
1312 Fairlane Road
Yreka, CA 96097

Lake Co. Debris Removal Operations Center
898 Lakeport Boulevard
Lakeport, CA 96453

— Lance Klug
Posted on Sep 18, 2018

Summary: Crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery are making significant progress clearing debris from private properties destroyed by the Carr Fire in Shasta County and the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County. CalRecycle-managed crews are also set to begin debris removal on homes destroyed by the Mendocino Complex and Pawnee fires in Lake County.