California Camp Fire Debris Removal Ahead of Schedule So Far

To date, 77 percent of structural debris on properties in the Camp Fire Consolidated Debris Removal Program has been removed for a total of over 2.6 million tons of ash, debris, metal, concrete and contaminated soil.

by Jake Abbott, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif. / July 30, 2019
A search and rescue worker, looking for Camp Fire victims, carries Susie Q. to safety after the cadaver dog fell through rubble at the Holly Hills Mobile Estates on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Paradise, Calif. AP/Noah Berger

(TNS) — The Camp Fire cleanup’s impact on Yuba-Sutter roadways has been evident, with traffic congestion worsened by the fleets of trucks involved in the debris removal process, but area residents may be relieved to learn the process is ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed by September.

The deadly Camp Fire tore through part of Butte County in November, destroying thousands of homes and businesses in the Paradise area.

To date, 77 percent of the structural debris on properties participating in the Camp Fire Consolidated Debris Removal Program has been removed for a total of more than 2.6 million tons (that’s 5.3 billion pounds), of ash, debris, metal, concrete and contaminated soil.

“This has been a tremendous effort by all involved and today is an important milestone in this community’s journey to recovery,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “While significant work remains to finalize this project, it has been impressive to watch how rapidly and effectively these crews have cleared debris.”

A total of 154 crews consisting of three to five people each are working to clear the impacted areas in Butte County, which include Paradise, Concow and Magalia. Of the 10,732 properties participating in the removal program, 8,259 properties have been cleared of structural debris. CalRecycle is overseeing the effort.

“The progress we are achieving together is the result of a lot of hard work and many long days for wildfire survivors, their communities and all of the local, state and federal partners involved in this effort,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline.

The Yuba-Sutter area has been a thoroughfare for the trucks hauling debris due to the Recology Ostrom Road Landfill outside of Wheatland being one of two specially lined facilities in Northern California that accept certain types of material coming from the cleanup area. The debris removal process began in February and was initially expected to be completed by early 2020.

Although debris removal is now expected to wrap up in a few months, final project completion — structural debris removal on any additional properties, final soil testing, erosion control installation and final property inspections — is scheduled to be completed by early 2020.


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