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Wildfire Cleanup & Debris Removal

County to host virtual meeting on wildfire cleanup, debris removal

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. (September 11, 2018) – As Ranch, River and Pawnee Fire survivors progress through the steps of their recovery journey, rebuilding is becoming a central focus for many.  The cleanup required to prepare wildfire-damaged properties for safe and successful rebuilding is considerable, and survivors have many questions about their options.

Wednesday evening, September 12, at 6pm, the County will host a Virtual Mendocino Complex and Pawnee Fire Recovery Meeting, focused entirely upon cleanup and debris removal.  The meeting will be streamed via Facebook Live, at https://www.facebook.com/lakecountycagov.

Questions will be taken through the County’s Facebook page, so wildfire survivors throughout the County can access key information.

Those whose properties were seriously damaged are aware that the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) began Phase 1 of the cleanup effort Monday, September 10.  DTSC is expected to continue clearing Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) through Friday, September 21.

The next phase will include a State-coordinated program to remove hazardous wildfire debris from private properties damaged by the Ranch and River Fires, run by CalRecycle.  

To participate in this public debris cleanup program, property owners are required to sign a Right of Entry (ROE) form that permits the State’s contractors to enter their property and remove wildfire-related debris.  Participation in the program also requires that those with homeowner’s insurance file an insurance claim and reimburse any proceeds received for the government program’s debris removal efforts at a later date.  ROEs are available through the County’s Environmental Health office.

While there is no up front, out-of-pocket cost to participate in the State’s debris removal program, keeping and profiting from any insurance funds received in consideration of the public program’s debris removal efforts is a “Duplication of Benefits”, a type of insurance fraud.  Property owners are encouraged to work with their insurance companies to ensure they understand and can hold aside any reimbursements made to them, directly, for debris removal.

“Cleanup is a major step in the recovery process,” notes Nathan Spangler, Lake County’s Mendocino Complex Recovery Coordinator.  “Participation in the State’s program can help ensure a damaged property is safe for rebuilding.  County Environmental Health staff and others are available to help property owners understand their options, and Wednesday’s virtual meeting is a great opportunity to hear from many of the County officials who are involved in this important effort.”

Spangler can be reached at Nathan.Spangler@lakecountyca.gov, and 916-521-7108.

Lake County Environmental Health can be reached at 707-263-1164.