In a significant milestone in the recovery and rebuilding of the Town of Paradise and Butte County following last year's devastating wildfire, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) announced that crews managed by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) have completed the removal of more than 75 percent of the structural debris on the 10,732 properties participating in the state-managed Camp Fire Consolidated Debris Removal Program.
"This has been a tremendous effort by all involved and today is an important milestone in this community's journey to recovery," said Mark S. 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."
"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," CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said.
Based on a calculated program operations schedule, crews are expected to complete structural debris removal on current participating properties in the September 2019 timeframe, significantly ahead of schedule. Final project completion, which includes both structural debris removal on any additional properties as well as final soil testing, erosion control installation and final property inspections, remains on track for early 2020.
Currently 154 debris removal crews remain engaged - consisting of three to five persons each - clearing burned parcels in Paradise, Concow and Magalia. To date, crews have removed more than 2.6 million tons of ash, debris, metal, concrete and contaminated soil from 8,259 of the 10,732 properties participating in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program.
Moving forward and based on operational needs, the Camp Fire Debris Removal Incident Management Team, which includes representatives from CalRecycle and Cal OES, will continually assess the requirement for debris crews and begin to gradually demobilize crews as necessary.
The State of California remains committed and engaged with the Town of Paradise, Concow, Magalia, and with Butte County throughout the recovery process and into the rebuilding of these communities.