CalRecycle Crews Stay Safe During Camp Fire Debris Removal Project
Since the beginning of Camp Fire debris removal in February 2019, cleanup crews working under CalRecycle contracts have been meeting on Wednesday mornings for weekly all-hands safety meetings. At the peak of the project, thousands would pack into the Paradise Alliance Church, one of the largest buildings that survived the devastating November 2018 wildfire. Operations chiefs and safety officers from CalRecycle would reinforce safety protocols, provide training, and support workforce morale.
At the meetings, crews were recognized for work that went beyond hauling debris to providing outstanding outreach and support for individual homeowners. With up to 150 workers scattered among the 150,000 acres of the burn scar, the morning meetings gave everyone a sense of how big the operation was and allowed them to see the other members of a recovery team that measured in the thousands.
With 99.9 percent of properties cleared, the numbers were much smaller for the all-hands meeting on Oct. 30, 2019. But with public safety power shutdowns in effect, the safety message was just as critical: Be careful in the wind, look for falling branches, and be aware of traffic and intersections. And speakers gave their talks not from a church stage with a sound system, but from the back of a pickup truck under flashlights.