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Nearly 800 Properties Affected by Woolsey, Hill Fires Cleared of Structural Debris

State contractors have removed debris generated by the Woolsey and Hill fires from nearly 800 properties in Los Angeles and Ventura counties whose owners are participating in the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, officials with the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC) in Calabasas reported today.

To date, state crews have cleared eligible burned metal, concrete, ash and debris from 711 properties in Los Angeles County and from 84 properties in Ventura County.

The 795 properties cleared in both counties represent 86 percent of the 924 properties currently eligible for the state program.   The 711 cleared properties in Los Angeles County represent 86.1 percent of the 826 eligible properties in the county, while the 84 cleared properties in Ventura County, including all six related to the Hill Fire, represent 85.7 percent of its 98 eligible properties.

Through May 20, crews have removed more than 328,611 tons of burned metal, concrete, ash and contaminated soil from properties in Los Angeles County and more than 46,728 tons of debris from properties in Ventura County.

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

So far, DROC officials have submitted final inspections reports for 409 properties in Los Angeles County and 37 properties in Ventura County to local officials, clearing the way for owners to start the reconstruction of their homes.

The 446 final inspection reports submitted by debris removal officials to local authorities in both counties represent 48.3 percent of the total number of properties currently eligible for the state program.   The 409 submissions to Los Angeles County officials represent 49.5 percent of the L.A. County properties participating in the program, while the 37 submissions to Ventura County officials represent 44 percent of its participating properties.

DROC officials submitted the final inspection report for each property following the completion of site assessments; asbestos surveys; asbestos abatements, where needed; debris removal; analysis and testing of soil samples by a state-certified laboratory; the implementation of erosion control measures, unless waived by the property owner; and a final walkthrough by state debris removal officials and operations staff.

According to DROC officials, state contractors also have completed erosion control work on 402 cleared properties in Los Angeles County and 39 in Ventura County, including those for which they have submitted final inspection reports.  Erosion control measures include the installation of fiber rolls and the application of a wood-based, environmentally friendly mulch.

Debris removal officials report that soil samples taken following the removal of eligible debris from 562 properties in Los Angeles County and 65 properties in Ventura County, meet state environmental and public health standards, according to laboratory testing and analysis.

Debris removal officials also reported that contractors have completed site assessments on 1,018 properties – 907 in Los Angeles County and 111 in Ventura County.  During site assessments of properties whose owners have opted into the state program, contractors document and photograph property lines, the location of septic tanks, the footprints of foundations and ash, as well as objects that pose a hazard or hamper operations such as trees, pools and vehicles.

Contractors also have completed 904 asbestos surveys and have abated 137 of the 140 properties in Los Angeles County where they found bulk quantities of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs).   In Ventura County, they have finished 103 asbestos surveys and abated 21 of the 22 parcels where they identified bulk quantities of ACMs.

Debris removal officials will suspend field and DROC operations from Friday through Monday in observance of Memorial Day weekend.   Weather permitting, debris removal, erosion control, asbestos and other field operations will resume on Tuesday, May 28.

The DROC also will reopen on May 28, with experts from Los Angeles County Public Works and Ventura County Environmental Health available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to meet with property owners who have submitted Right-of-Entry Permit applications regarding the status of their properties.

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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