Wildfire Recovery Update: Six Months Post-Fire Progress

As we reach the six month mark of the statewide wildfire recovery process, more than 2,500 parcels have been cleared and more than 800,000 tons of debris have been removed from properties damaged by the Camp Fire in Butte County. Debris removal crews are clearing fire related ash and debris at an average of 100 properties per day in the State’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program.

In Southern California, communities impacted by the Woolsey and Hill fires are seeing equally impressive progress. Debris has been removed from more than 70% of eligible properties. State officials submitted final inspection reports for 260 properties in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and contractors have removed more than 335,000 tons of eligible debris since operations began February 6.

More than 180 debris removal crews continue to work diligently in the field as weather and safety conditions permit – remaining focused on the ultimate goal of assisting survivors in returning home. Continue reading for a detailed look at the debris removal numbers statewide.


Providing housing solutions to survivors remains a top priority for state and federal partners. To date, more than $84.7 million in financial assistance has been provided to homeowners and renters in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties for temporary housing assistance. Nearly $79 million of that has gone to survivors in Butte County, where the Camp Fire destroyed more than 14,000 homes.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $408 million in low-interest disaster loans to California businesses and survivor families impacted by the fires.

Nearly 90 percent of families left homeless by the Camp Fire have found housing solutions. Directly after the fire, approximately 637 families moved into Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) solutions. Today, only 88 families remain in the program, meaning that nearly 550 families have moved into a more long-term housing solution.

Four temporary housing communities, which would allow nearly 600 families to stay close to home in Butte County, are finalizing their development and will begin housing survivors this month. For more information related to the temporary community sites, please visit: https://buttecountyrecovers.org/agencies/housing/.


Counseling services and additional resources are also being provided to survivors. Fire events, like other disasters, may cause emotional trauma. More than $4.2 million has been invested into a federal program called Immediate Disaster Case Management (IDCM) that pairs non-profit services with one-on-one case management for survivors. Additionally, FEMA and the State of California dedicated more than $3 million to crisis counseling and another $5,000 went to pay for Disaster Legal Services.


The Paradise Irrigation District (PID), which provides water to the majority of the Camp Fire impacted area, had their water system severely damaged by the fire. PID, working with state and federal agencies as well as a local contractor, is finalizing their plan to restore the community’s water system and expedite the rebuilding process. PID officials remain focused on mobilizing water tanks to standing structures and implementing a testing and sampling plan for the entire system.

Recently, a group of volunteers conducted a census style outreach to determine how many residents are currently living in standing structures in the area. The information will directly assist local, state and federal officials’ efforts to ensure fresh, clean water for those who continue to reside in Paradise.

As the recovery of the water systems damaged in the Camp Fire continues to advance, many groups and companies have recognized the immediate need for clean water. Some amazing programs have been providing drinking water to the Paradise area since the disaster began. Convoy of Hope, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid to disaster survivors around the world, has partnered with Nestle to provide free water bottles by the truckload. So far, these organizations have combined to donate more than 22 semi-trucks full of water, amounting to nearly 1 million bottles of water.


Below is a detailed look at the State’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program progress across California:

Phase 2 Progress Report & Debris Removal Tonnage as of May 7, 2019

Order of Operations

Butte County (Camp)

Los Angeles County (Woolsey)

Ventura County (Woolsey/Hill)

Participating properties




Step 1 – Site Assessment and Documentation

Sites assessed




Asbestos surveys completed




Step 2 – Debris Removal

Debris removal completed




Step 3 – Confirmation Sampling

Sample results approved




Step 4 – Erosion Control Measures

Erosion control completed




Step 5 – Final Inspection

Final inspection completed





Type of Waste

Camp Fire Debris Removal

Woolsey Fire (Los Angeles) Debris Removal

Woolsey/Hill Fire (Ventura) Debris Removal

Ash, debris, and soil

554,929 tons

191,810 tons

24,381 tons


127,482 tons

54,969 tons

11,556 tons


11,066 tons

3,565 tons

591 tons

Contaminated soil

108,771 tons

46,382 tons

5,319 tons


802,248 tons

(1.6 billion lbs.)

296,727 tons

(593 million lbs.)

42,099 tons

(84 million lbs.)

Stay updated on Recovery progress across California, and other news, at http://www.oesnews.com/.

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.

One thought on “Wildfire Recovery Update: Six Months Post-Fire Progress

  • May 10, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Wow! 100 properties a day. They could have all of the Highway 70 communities cleared in a week.


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