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Progress being made on Dixie Fire debris removal

As state-contracted crews continue to remove eligible debris generated by the Dixie Fire from properties whose owners are participating in the state’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, state and county officials remind property owners only burned metal, concrete, ash and contaminated soil resulting directly from the fire are eligible for clean-up under the state program.

The reminder from state and county officials comes in the wake of incidents in Greenville and surrounding communities in which some property owners participating in the state debris removal program dumped appliances and other debris not generated by the fire on their properties for cleanup.

“Appliances and debris not burned or generated by the Dixie Fire are not eligible under the state Program,” said California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Deputy Director for Recovery Ryan Buras.  “There are strict rules on what is and what isn’t eligible for removal under the state program.”

“Unfortunately, some residents are taking advantage of the Debris Removal programs and dumping appliances and other debris that has no connection to Dixie Fire destruction and damages,” said Plumas County Administrative Officer Gabriel Hydrick.  “California Penal Code 374.3 makes illegal dumping on public and private property punishable by a fine up to $10,000. Also, pursuant to Section 117555 of the California Health and Safety Code, a person who dumps illegally is punishable by up to six months in jail.

“The County also takes seriously the rapid response and generous programmatic efforts of the state and the County/state relationship that has developed to help County residents recover and rebuild from the Dixie Fire,” added County Administrative Officer Hydrick.  “The County will not compromise this relationship and recovery and rebuilding efforts. Please, respect state and County staff efforts and programs, but most importantly, respect our beautiful County and your neighbors.”

Under the program, administered by Cal OES) and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) in cooperation with the county, property owners who opt into the program by submitting a Right-of-Entry Permit (ROE) to their county officials incur no direct costs for the removal of burned metal, concrete, ash and contaminated soil from their properties.

Removing fire debris is critical to recovering from the fires and rebuilding.  Property owners cannot start rebuilding until fire debris is removed from their properties and soil samples taken from the property meet state environmental health and safety standards.

To date, more than 1,500 property owners in 10 counties, including 561 in Plumas County, have enrolled in the full debris removal program.  An additional 250 property owners, including 155 in Plumas County, have enrolled in the program’s hazardous trees only element.  Participating property owners can track the status of the property on the state’s 2021 Debris Removal Dashboard.

Property owners also can do the work themselves or hire a private contractor, but the work must meet the same state standards as the state debris removal program.

State debris removal officials say it’s important that property owners participating in the program avoid doing any work themselves or through a private contractor.  Properties with work conducted by property owners or their contractors are ineligible for the program.

To date, crews have cleared eligible debris from 154, or 27 percent, of the properties in Plumas County currently participating in the program.

 

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