VENTURA, Calif. – Teams of bulldozers, excavators and other heavy equipment are working throughout the Thomas Fire burn areas as CalRecycle works to clear debris. Thirty-five teams are clearing properties with an expected completion date in April. Property owners who have not signed up for the CalRecycle program, or the County’s local program, face the possibility of having their property abated by the County and the cost added to their property tax bill.
“This is a public safety issue,” said Environmental Health Director, Bill Stratton. “It is imperative to clean these properties so the recovery and rebuilding process can move forward.”
The CalRecycle program operates at no direct cost to homeowners. Under the program, properties are cleared down to clean soil and the debris is taken to a landfill. But homeowners must sign up for the program. Almost 700 properties have been approved for the CalRecycle program and approximately 50 properties have already been cleared.
Fire victims who have not yet filed applications for the program are strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Although the deadline has passed, CalRecycle is still accepting applications for areas where the teams have not already completed their work.
The Right-of-Entry forms necessary for the program can be found on the Ventura County Recovers website, the Environmental Health Division at the County Government Center, Ventura City Hall, and the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC). The DROC is located at 290 Maple Court, Suite 120, Ventura. The County Government Center is at 800 South Victoria Avenue in Ventura.
“We really want people to take advantage of CalRecycle’s no-cost program,” said Stratton. “But the fact is, every one of these properties must be cleared one way or another.”
CalRecycle teams are currently working in areas affected by the Thomas Fire to clear properties of fire debris.
The CalRecycle program is clearing the properties down to clean dirt and hauling away fire debris at no cost to the property owner.