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Submitted by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
6:30 am PST February 6, 2019

State contractors have completed site assessments of 324 private properties that were destroyed in the Woolsey and Hill fires and whose owners have opted into the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, officials at the Debris Removal Operations Center in Calabasas announced Feb. 5

In Los Angeles County, crews have completed site assessments on 239 properties impacted by the Woolsey Fire. In Ventura County, crews have completed site assessments on 85 properties impacted by the Woolsey and Hill fires.

Site assessments are a critical step in the state's debris removal program. They must be conducted to begin the debris removal operations on each property.

During site inspections 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.

State contractors also completed asbestos surveys on properties impacted by the Woolsey and Hill fires. In Los Angeles County, 188 properties were surveyed and in Ventura County, 50 properties were surveyed.

During the asbestos surveys, state contractors canvass each property for asbestos containing materials 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.

Under the state program, administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and CalRecycle, property owners who opt in incur no direct costs for the removal of eligible debris, including foundations, concrete, ash and metal.

Participation in the state program is easy. Property owners, including those who do not have debris removal insurance coverage, only need to complete and submit a Right of Entry permit form to their respective county. The ROE allows state contractors to access the property.

Property owners can opt out of the state program and seek approval through the local program to do the work themselves or hire a private contractor, but they will be held to the same safety and environmental standards as those of the state program. It is critical for all property owners with structures significantly burned by the fires to clear their debris, either by signing up for the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program or cleaning the debris privately to avoid creating a public health nuisance and being subject to summary abatement procedures.

Feb. 15, 2019, is the deadline for property owners in Los Angeles and Ventura counties to submit their ROEs.

Property owners can obtain assistance completing their ROEs and meet one-on-one with debris removal experts from their respective counties to discuss their concerns at the Debris Removal Operations Center located at 26610 Agoura Road in Calabasas. The DROC is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. Call (805) 819-8791 to schedule an appointment at the DROC. ROEs for Ventura County residents also can be submitted to the Ventura County Government Center, Environmental Health Division, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura.

Property owners who have opted in will be notified 24-48 hours prior to the start of debris removal operations on their property and may walk the property with crews before work begins.

For more information in Los Angeles County, visit lacounty.gov/LACountyRecovers or call (626) 979-5370. For more information in Ventura County, visit www.venturacountyrecovers.org  or call (805) 504-7869.