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Cleaning Up the Butte Fire Destruction

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Calaveras County, CA — The CalRecycle-Calaveras County Butte Fire Debris Removal Project is putting boots to the ground to start removing toxic materials from the devastated areas.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on Wednesday will deploy teams to remove household hazardous waste, conduct asbestos assessment, and take soil samples in the fire’s footprint. The crews are targeting the western portions of Jesus Maria Road and southern portion of Mountain Ranch Road with other areas to follow. The primary focus is to evaluate hazardous waste such as asbestos and remove household hazardous waste such as paints, batteries, electronic wastes, and propane tanks under 30 gallons, according to Calaveras County Director of Environmental Health Jason Boetzer.   He shares that nearly 600 properties have already been visited by his office to assess the situation.

To get the toxic waste removed, residents need to sign a “Right of Entry” permit to allow the teams on their property. Boetzer says 250 residents have already signed up and he urges other victims to do the same saying, “A lot of times people don’t have enough insurance to pay for the full costs of the cleanup, and then for those people that don’t have any insurance, this is fully funded. We want to make sure that individuals are not just loading up the ash and hauling it to a landfill — but that it’s handled properly and we’re protecting our community during this cleanup process.” Boetzer adds that landfills are not taking this debris and anyone caught dumping it illegally could faces legal action. As previously reported, for residents who prefer to do their own cleanup there is a certification process and equipment available through the county.

For question regarding the cleanup, contact the Calaveras County Environmental Health at (209) 754-6399. Click here for an entry permit.

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