How contractors can get disaster cleanup work in the Camp Fire recovery efforts

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Updated Dec 15, 2018
The Camp Fire in Butte County in November. Credit: CalFire Butte Unit/Butte County Fire DepartmentThe Camp Fire in Butte County in November. Credit: CalFire Butte Unit/Butte County Fire Department

The first phase of the cleanup following California’s most deadly and destructive wildfire in state history has begun.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, is leading the cleanup of hazardous materials, such as propane tanks, compressed gas cylinders and solvents, that were left in the wake of the Camp Fire, which claimed 85 lives.

The next phase – the widespread cleaning of fire debris – is expected to begin early next year and extend into summer. CalRecycle, the agency coordinating the second phase of the cleanup, has begun seeking contracts for phase 2 cleanup. To see current contracts being sought, go to https://www2.calrecycle.ca.gov/Contracts/Current/.

The agency says that in the past it has used large general contractors, which then subcontract for much of the work.

The agency recommends that contractors and subcontractors interested in fire debris removal refer to its list of debris-removal contractors for possible subcontracting opportunities. The list is available to all contractors and subcontractors. Contractors and subcontractors can also sign up for CalRecycle’s contractor list and receive emails when the agency solicits for work. To get on the list, email the company name, address, type of work and the primary person’s email address and phone number to FireDebrisContracts@calrecycle.ca.gov.

CalRecycle says it is working with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and other federal, state and local agencies for recovery in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties from the Camp and Woolsey fires.

Photo Credit: CalRecyclePhoto Credit: CalRecycle

One disaster recovery firm, ECC, has already begun seeking subcontractors for fire debris removal. The company has forms on its website for interested subs at this link.

Butte County, which was at the heart of the Camp Fire, reports that residents have a choice of using government-contracted debris removal or hiring private contractors. The state and federal programs will not require residents to pay. Cleanup requirements for private cleanup crews will be announced soon, the county says.

Similar debris removal efforts will be underway for Ventura County, which suffered damage from the Woolsey Fire. The county posts regular updates on its website on debris removal and other recovery efforts at venturacountyrecovers.org.

Los Angeles County also outlines fire debris removal for its residents, at this link.

For those interested in contracting with federal agencies and other opportunities following a natural disaster, see our story: How contractors can get disaster cleanup work in the Hurricanes Michael, Florence recovery efforts.