Household Hazardous Waste crews work to cleanup after the Camp Fire in Butte County. Similar work began in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

California Launches Unprecedented Wildfire Cleanup Effort

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties; the California Department of Toxic Substances Control; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and other federal, state, and local partners, has begun the process of clearing debris following the most destructive series of wildfires in California history.

State managed debris removal programs have been established in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties to clear household hazardous waste and other fire debris from more than 14,000 properties destroyed by the Camp, Woolsey, and Hill fires.

Consolidated Debris Removal Program

Implemented under the leadership of CalOES and local governments, the Consolidated Debris Removal Program mobilizes federal, state, and local resources to help restore burned properties under a two-phase cleanup process.

Phase 1 – Crews managed by DTSC and U.S. EPA remove household hazardous waste such as paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, pesticides, compressed cylinders and tanks, and easily identifiable asbestos.

Phase 2 – Following the removal of household hazardous waste, CalRecycle-managed contractors remove the remaining asbestos, assess and document properties, and remove contaminated soil, ash, metal, concrete, and other debris to restore properties to pre-fire conditions.

CalRecycle oversees and manages contractors and consultants to conduct debris removal (Phase 2) at no out-of-pocket cost to property owners. To participate in Phase 2 of the state-managed debris removal program, owners must grant cleanup crews access to their property by returning signed Right-of-Entry agreements to their local government.

Right of Entry Forms:     Butte County     Los Angeles County         Ventura County

Property owners who wish to conduct their own cleanup may do so, but they should be aware of local safety and environmental standards and requirements. Contact your local government for more information on private cleanups.

CalRecycle Wildfire Debris Removal Update

Crews managed by CalRecycle are wrapping up work on four previous debris removal operations following wildfires in Shasta, Lake, and Siskiyou counties.

Fire (County) Participating


Debris Removal


Final Inspections


Tonnage Removed
Pawnee (Lake) 15 15 15 Est 2,600
Mendocino Complex (Lake) 154 126 25 Est 33,582+
Carr (Shasta) 1,044 1,038 657 Est 514,558+
Klamathon (Siskiyou) 49 49 *46 Est 14,829

*Three lots returned to the county and referred to DTSC for additional mitigation measures

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 certification from their county that verifies their lot is clean and eligible to receive a building permit.


RJ Ghilarducci

RJ Ghilarducci is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). He joined the OES team to aid in 2018's Camp, Woolsey, Hill, and Holy Fire recoveries. He previously served on Governor Gavin Newsom's campaign, worked as a newspaper reporter, and coached Division 1 college football.

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