Recovery is often the longest and hardest part of a disaster as the rebuilding process can take months and sometimes years. Two months after the Clayton Fire ravaged Lake County, the recovery process moves into the next phase with clean-up operations underway.
For the 188 homes destroyed by the Clayton Fire in Lake County, cleanup is a very important part of the recovery. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), in partnership with CalRecycle and the Department of Toxic Substances Control, have been working on the sites to help homeowners begin the rebuilding process.
As part of recovery, damaged home sites need to be cleared and deemed safe before homeowners can rebuild. The first step of the clean-up process is removal and disposal of household hazardous waste such as paint cans, gas cans, propane tanks, bulk asbestos, and other items that posed a threat to public health or safety by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Once sites are cleared of household hazardous waste, CalRecycle teams begin operations to remove the remaining hazardous debris and ash and make sure the site is clean and safe to build upon before it is turned back to the homeowner.
California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funding will help with debris removal and also assist local government with the recovery process.
The Clayton Fire, which began on August 13, 2016 and burned until August 26, 2016, burned through Lake County scorching 3,929 acres. Lake County had already been severely impacted by last year’s Rocky, Jerusalem and Valley fires. State, local and community organizations continue to support Lake County as it recovers from wildfire and also help mitigate against future disasters.