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Burned structural debris contains many contaminants like heavy metals that are left behind after a structure burns. Debris removal crews scrape 3 to 6 inches of soil from the ash footprint beneath the structure to make sure the property is free of contamination. Samples of the undisturbed soil are sent to a state-approved lab for analysis. The results are then compared against fire-specific cleanup goals, which were established to protect public health and the environment and are based on background samples taken from areas not directly impacted by the fire. If necessary, more soil is removed and the site is retested until it meets the cleanup goals.
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The best way to track the progress of debris removal is through the following link:
This is Debris Operations Dashboard. It allows you to enter your property address in the search bar and loads information on your property. This map shows which step your property is at within the debris removal process. There is a color-coded legend on the righthand side of the map, displaying each step with its corresponding color. If you still have questions,
Call CAL OES Debris Removal at 855-596-5734
This number will help provide you answers on matters such as scheduling, progress, and status updates to your property, time-frame on future/current work, and other frequently asked questions in regards to debris removal.
There are many steps to the debris removal process including soil sampling, testing for contaminants, and hazard tree removal. Cleanup may look complete but it is not until you receive a letter of completion via email or physical mail if you do not have an email on file with the Plumas County Debris Removal Center.
After all debris has been removed and soil testing meets the cleanup goals, contractors will return to install erosion control devices best management practices or BMPs. Depending on the site, these may include straw, wattles, silt fences or other products. If eligible hazard trees have been identified on your property, these hazard trees will be felled and removed. After all work has been completed, State Debris Removal Task Force personnel will conduct an onsite inspection of the property to confirm that all project specifications have been met. The State’s Debris Task Force will then report to Plumas County Debris Removal that your lot is clear. Debris Removal will then send you a certificate of completion, and you will be ready to rebuild.
Hazard tree removal involves three main steps. First, a Registered Professional Forester or Certified Arborist will assess whether there are qualifying hazard trees on the property. If so, hazard trees will be marked for removal with a blue dots at chest height and a barcode at base of the tree. Next, the marked trees will be felled and removed. Finally, state crews will perform a final inspection to ensure all the work has been completed. At this point the process for returning the property back to the owner is the same as for structural debris. State Debris Removal Task Force personnel will contact county Debris Removal staff who will in turn notify the property owner.
A hazard tree is one that can fall into a public road, right of way or public property but there are a few exceptions. The public road must be part of the county’s maintained road system. Also, property adjacent to National Forest lands or National Forest roads do not qualify. For questions about qualifying hazard trees, please contact Plumas County Public Works at 530-283-6268.
Please contact the Debris Removal Center at 530-283-7080 or email us at email@example.com if you have concerns about how site work was completed or if you feel something on your property was overlooked.
County Code requires all structural debris be cleaned up and all hazard trees be removed before any permits can be issued. Property owners can apply for a permit at any time, but the permit cannot be issued until cleanup is completed. Debris Removal will notify property owners along with the Building, Planning, and Environmental Health Departments once their property has been successfully cleaned up. Once you receive your Certificate of Completion, you can rebuild.
Most vehicles were processed and removed as part of the state’s debris removal program or through private insurance. If not, you will need to contact DMV to obtain a Junk Certificate. With a junk slip, vehicles can be accepted for scrap metal recycling.
If the propane tank was rented, contact the company that owns the tank to have it removed. If you own your propane tank and wanted it removed, make sure the ROE paperwork shows it should be removed. If it was missed, call the State Debris Removal helpline at 855-596-5734.
Contact Plumas County Debris Removal at 530-283-7080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org