Nearly 100 Properties Cleared of Woolsey, Hill Fire Debris

February 27, 2019
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA — Nearly 100 residential properties affected by the Woolsey and Hill fires have been cleared by state contractors of burned metal, concrete, chimneys, ash and other debris, officials with the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC) in Calabasas reported today.

To date, crews have cleared debris from 82 properties in Los Angeles County whose owners are participating in the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program and 14 properties in Ventura County.

Under the state program, administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and CalRecycle, property owners who opt in incur no direct costs for the removal of eligible debris.  Debris removal operations on the 96 cleared sites followed earlier site assessments, asbestos surveys and, where necessary, asbestos abatements of those properties.

Further action on most cleared properties is pending the results of analysis within the next two weeks by a state-certified laboratory of soil samples collected at each property to determine whether the soil samples meet state health and environmental standards.   If the soils samples from a property meet state health and environmental standards, state contractors schedule the site for erosion control measures.  If soil samples from a site do not meet standards, contractors will scrape an additional 3-6 inches of soil for additional testing and analysis.

In addition to removing debris from the 96 properties in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, state contractors have now completed 661 site assessments and 580 asbestos surveys in Los Angeles County, as well as 91 site assessments and 76 asbestos surveys in Ventura County.

Site assessments and asbestos surveys are critical steps in the state’s debris removal program and on the road to rebuilding for property owners.  State contractors must complete a site assessment before beginning debris removal operations on each property, and property owners cannot begin to rebuild until the debris is removed, soil from the property is tested to ensure it meets California’s environmental standards and erosion control measures are implemented on their property.

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.

During the asbestos surveys, state contractors canvass each property for asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and collect samples of materials suspected of containing ACMs for testing.  Properties with ACMs are scheduled for abatement.  Those with no ACMs present are scheduled for debris removal.   Contractors also may tip standing chimneys for later removal.

So far, certified asbestos consultants have completed abatements on 36 properties in Los Angeles County and eight properties in Ventura County.

Nearly 1,000 property owners in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have submitted Right-of-Entry (ROE) permit application forms to participate and allow state contractors to access their properties.

Property owners who have submitted ROEs can meet one-on-one with debris removal experts from their respective counties to discuss the status of their ROEs and issues related to their property at the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC) located at 26610 Agoura Road in Calabasas.  The DROC is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following Saturdays:  March 2; March 16; March 30; April 13; and April 27.   DROC hours on all other Saturdays are 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  Call 1-805-819-8791 to schedule an appointment at the DROC.

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 may walk the property 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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