A man walks through Journey's End mobile home park in Santa Rosa, Calif. Monday, October 9, 2017 as multiple fires burn across Sonoma, Napa and other North Bay counties. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

State officials outline removal process for debris from North Bay fires

The California Office of Emergency Services on Thursday morning gave an overview of the daunting process of removing toxic and hazardous materials from structures destroyed by fires in Northern California counties this month.

The first phase of the process is removing direct threats posed by propane tanks, gas cans, paints, pesticides and herbicides during sweeps of the properties. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will perform that task in Sonoma and Napa counties.

The second phase entails the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers physically removing ash and toxic substances from the soil of properties in the two counties.

The process will begin at burned properties near schools, daycare centers and hospitals, then to burned structures that threaten rivers and watersheds.

State officials said removing the enormous amount of debris to dedicated landfills presents a monumental task.

It will take two working days for a team of five to seven people to remove debris from a property and another week to complete six separate lab tests for asbestos and other toxins in soil at the site.

There will be a one- to two-week lag time before erosion control begins. The goal is for the soil to be in pre-fire condition using soil samples from outside the burn area as a background goal, state officials said.

There is no cost estimate yet for the process since it depends on the number of homeowners who opt out of signing a right to enter their property agreement and use a private contractor for the cleanup instead, state officials said.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco mayor calls in 200 law enforcement officers from California to enforce curfew

Mayor London Breed said Sunday morning that she made the request last night as first responders answered calls to dozens of fires and vandalism

Mayor Breed declares curfew after anti-police brutality protest ends in looting, vandalism

Hundreds march through city in largely peaceful day of action marking death of George Floyd

Video surfaces amid George Floyd death fallout showing SF police kneeling on man’s neck

Teen says he struggled to breathe during arrest: ‘I felt like I was going to die’

Trump was dismissive on phone call, George Floyd’s family says

Trump “didn’t give me the opportunity to even speak,”

‘Extremely disturbing’: SF police chief condemns death of George Floyd

Bill Scott joins SFPOA, top cops nationwide in deeming incident a failure of policing

Most Read