State contractors sort through debris caused by the Woolsey Fire at a property on Corral Canyon in Malibu.

More than 98 Percent of Properties Eligible for State Debris Removal Program Cleared of Woolsey, Hill Fire Debris

State contractors have cleared eligible debris from more than 98 percent of the properties affected by the Woolsey and Hill fires in the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, officials with the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC) in Calabasas reported today.

To date, crews have removed debris from 910 — or 98.27 percent — of 926 eligible properties in Los Angeles and Ventura counties that are eligible for the state program. 

In Los Angeles County, contractors have cleared debris from 815 — or 98.67 percent — of the 826 eligible properties affected by the Woolsey Fire.

In Ventura County, crews have cleared 95 of the 100 eligible properties affected by the Woolsey and Hill fires.   The 95 cleared properties include 89 – or 94.68 percent — of the 94 eligible properties affected by the Woolsey Fire and all six eligible properties affected by the Hill Fire. 

Through June 16, crews removed more than 412,334 tons of debris, with the Woolsey Fire responsible for generating nearly 411,636 tons of it.

Under the state program, administered by CalRecycle and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), property owners who opt in incur no direct costs for the removal of eligible debris. 

According to DROC officials, crews have finished implementing erosion control measures on 594 of the cleared properties in Los Angeles County and on 65 of the cleared properties in Ventura County, including five of the six properties in the county affected by the Hill Fire.  

Officials also have submitted final inspection reports to local officials for 639 of the cleared sites in Los Angeles County and for 78 of the cleared sites in Ventura.  The 717 final inspection reports submitted to officials in both counties represent completion of work on 77.43 percent of the properties in both counties whose owners opted into the program.

 Submission of the 717 final inspection reports to local officials in both counties clears the way for those property owners to begin reconstruction.

During the state’s debris removal operation, contractors conduct site assessments, asbestos surveys and abatements as required for every site.  Crews also remove the fire debris, which consists of burnt metal, ash and other burn debris, concrete and contaminated soil.  Following this debris removal process, the surveying contractor returns to the site and conducts soil sampling which is sent to state certified laboratories for testing.

Once the state certified laboratories verify that the samples taken from the properties meet state environmental health and safety criteria, contractors then install fiber rolls and apply a virgin-based, biodegradable mulch to every cleared property whose owners have opted to have contractors implement the two types of erosion control measures.  Following these erosion control measures, state officials and staff conduct a walkthrough of each property to ensure all of the requirements of the state program were completed to the state’s high standard.

Debris removal officials also reported that contractors have:

  • Completed site assessments on 1,030 properties – 918 in Los Angeles County and 112 in Ventura County;
  • Conducted 1,021 asbestos surveys – 916 in Los Angeles County and 105 in Ventura County; and
  • Abated 145 of the 147 properties in Los Angeles County where they found bulk quantities of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). In Ventura County, crews have abated 21 of 22 parcels where they identified bulk quantities of ACMs. 

Debris removal experts from Los Angeles County Public Works and the Ventura County Environmental Health Division are available at the DROC from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to meet with property owners who have submitted Right-of-Entry (ROE) permit applications. 

Debris officials will notify property owners who have opted in to the state program 24-48 hours prior to the start of debris removal operations on their property.  Property owners can meet with crews before work begins. 

For more information in Los Angeles County, visit lacounty.gov/LACountyRecovers or call 1-626-979-5370.  For more information in Ventura County, visit www.venturacountyrecovers.org  or call 1-805-504-7869.

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