Woolsey-Hill Wildfire Debris Removal
The ash and debris that remains from a structure that was destroyed in the wildfires contain hazardous waste and materials that can threaten public health. Therefore, the Ventura County Public Health Officer declared a Local Health Emergency on November 9, 2018 which prohibits the removal of fire debris until an inspection of the debris in conducted by either state, federal, or local hazardous materials agencies.
To expedite recovery activities and ensure the safe removal of hazardous waste and fire debris, Ventura County has requested state and federal assistance to coordinate the removal of hazardous waste and fire debris from structures and properties damaged by the wildfire. More details about this consolidated debris removal program will be posted on this website as soon as they are available.
The Public Health Emergency Declaration also prohibited the delivery of debris bins in the affected areas without the approval from the Ventura County Environmental Health Division (Division). The Division will release debris bins to properties that do not have any destroyed or damaged structures and meet the exemption requirements. This includes removal of smoke damaged personal items and removal of vegetative landscape debris from the fire. In addition, burn debris from fences and structures less than 120 Square feet in size (e.g., gazebos, sheds, and decks) can be cleared from the property if the structures contained no stored paint, pesticides, herbicides, propane, or other similar hazardous substances, and if the best management practices listed in the document are followed. This exemption does not apply to debris containing asbestos.
On December 4, 2018, The Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted an Emergency Ordinance that authorized the implementation of the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) Consolidated Debris Removal Program (State Program) and established a Local Unincorporated Area Fire Debris Removal Program (Local Program).
State and Local Fire Debris Removal Program
To expedite recovery activities and ensure the safe removal of hazardous waste and fire debris, the County is coordinating with State agencies to remove hazardous waste and fire debris from structures and properties damaged by the wildfire using the State Fire Debris Removal Program.
There are two phases to this State Fire Debris Removal Program:
Phase 1: Household hazardous waste (HHW) removal
Phase 2: Debris and ash removal.
Phase 1: Household Hazardous Waste Removal
During Phase 1, teams from the US EPA or the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), along with the Ventura County Environmental Health Division, will inspect your property and remove any HHW that pose a threat to human health and the environment such as batteries, identifiable asbestos, pesticides, cleaning products and paints. There is no cost to the property owner for this work and you do not need to file a request to participate. A map shows the current progress of Phase 1. Once your property is cleared, a yellow clearance notice will be posted on the property. This phase of the work is expected to begin in early December. The Phase 1 clearance does not include removal of fire debris and ash, which may contain hazardous substances like heavy metals and asbestos fibers. The remaining ash and debris will be removed during Phase 2.
Phase 2: Debris Removal and Property Clean-up
Two options are available to property owners who had structures destroyed by the fire:
Option 1: CalOES Fire Damage Debris Clearance Program (State Program)
Option 2: Local Fire Debris Removal Program (Local Program
Option 1: State Program
During Phase 2, teams from the State (CalRecycle) will remove the remaining debris (including building foundations) from properties with destroyed structures. You will need to provide a Right-of-Entry (ROE) application and insurance information before the work can be done. This work will include removal of all structure debris, foundations, trees that present a safety hazard to CalRecycle’s work crews, and some soil to ensure the site is clean and safe for rebuilding. All the work is undertaken by CalRecycle contractors and there is no cost to the property owner. However, any insurance proceeds for debris removal shall be dedicated to off-set costs.
FAQs on CalOES Fire Damage Debris Clearance Program
Residential Debris Removal Right-of-Entry (ROE) Permit Application – English | Español
Consolidated Fire Debris Removal Insurance Fact Sheet
Right of Entry forms and Local Debris Removal Program applications may be submitted in-person at the locations below. Staff will be available to answer your questions and guide you through the submittal process. You can also leave a message at our Woolsey fire information line: 805-654-2432 or contact us by email at EHDWoolsey-HillFire@ventura.org.
Ventura County Government Center, 800 S. Victoria Ave. Ventura, Environmental Health Division. Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.
Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC), 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 noon on Saturdays.
The Deadline to submit an ROE Permit Application has been extended to February 15, 2019.
Option 2: Local Program
Property owners who do not qualify for, or who chose not to participate in the State Program, must hire a private contractor to remove fire debris and clean up their properties. A Local Fire Debris Removal application and workplan must be approved by the County of Ventura or City of Thousand Oaks, depending on the location of the property, prior to the commencement of work. Private debris removal is done at the homeowner’s expense and must follow standards adopted by the County of Ventura, which mirror the state standards being used by CalOES and CalRecycle for the State Program. Work must be performed by qualified personnel.
Local Program Debris Removal Application – English | Español
City of Thousand Oaks Local Program Application, including partially burned structures.
Local Program Application and Workplans must be submitted by February 15, 2019.
Partially Burned Structures
For Partially Burned or Damaged Structures in Unincorporated Ventura County, please submit the following form:
ROE Permit (State Program) Application Deadline February 15, 2019.
Local Program Permit Application deadline February 15, 2019
Debris removal completion deadline for all properties March 15, 2019
More information and application packets for the State and Local programs will be posted on VenturaCountyRecovers.org when available.
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