SACRAMENTO – Survivors whose homes were damaged in the 2020 California wildfires now have until January 15, 2021, to sign up for the government-run debris removal program. The program is also available to property owners with fire-damaged trees in danger of falling on public roads and other infrastructure.
The state’s consolidated debris removal plan consists of two phases. As we wrap up Phase One, which is the removal of hazardous household materials, and move into Phase Two, which removes the contaminated debris, the property owner becomes a critical part of the process.
Before the debris removal can start, property owners must fill out and sign a Right-of-Entry form, granting cleanup crews access to their property.
“Wildfire debris often contains hazardous waste, making it a threat to public safety and the environment,” Deputy Director of Recovery Ryan Buras said. “California’s consolidated debris removal program safely removes it with no out-of-pocket costs to homeowners, regardless of insurance coverage.”
State-managed cleanup now underway on properties with ROE submissions
The State of California has begun mobilizing contractors, arborists, and licensed timber operators in 24 counties to safely remove residential wildfire debris after more than 8,000 climate-induced wildfires burned 5,700 homes in recent months.
Cleanup work is already underway on homes where owners have submitted signed right-of-entry agreements, which allow state-managed contractors access to properties. This initial work includes documenting damage and debris, examining the danger of damaged trees along public rights-of-way, and sampling soils to ensure properties are restored to safe conditions.
“Crews need signed agreements from homeowners to clean up the properties,” CalRecycle Chief Deputy Director Ken DaRosa said. “Communities and neighborhoods with a higher number of right-of-entry agreements help California prioritize where to deploy crews.”
Next Step for Wildfire Survivors: Submit Right-of-Entry Forms to Local Government
Wildfire survivors who choose to participate in this process of the state-managed debris removal program must sign right-of-entry agreements by January 15, 2021. Property owners can submit these permission forms to their local governments.
Additional resources are available at wildfirerecovery.caloes.ca.gov where you’ll find direct links to county right-of-entry forms, contact information for each affected county, as well as everything you need to know about the state’s consolidated debris removal program.