Butte Fire Recovery And Heroes
Left: Jeannie Hayward, Right: Bonnie Acosta, staff member, at the “Stuff the Bus” event
Calaveras County, CA — Debris removal slowed to a stop this week because of bad weather, but Calaveras County is making time to officially recognize: Unsung Heroes of Butte Fire Recovery. The first “Unsung Hero” is Jeannie Hayward, Director of the The Resource Connection.
Hayward’s award from the county states, “We owe you a BIG THANKS!” and also says “Butte Fire Recovery would not be possible without the devoted and dedicated service of Jeannie and her hard working staff.” Also noting “The Food Bank opened their doors to all those who lost their homes, and residents who lost food due to the power outage during the fire.” The county pointed out the large Thanksgiving dinner that the Food Bank provided to the community and the current holiday project, Santa’s Express, which is collecting turkeys and hams for Christmas dinners for 1,000 families plus toys for children ages 0-17.
Each week the county will choose a new Unsung Hero or Heroes will be announced to give thanks to those who work tirelessly, mostly without recognition to help the community.
The county reports that weather permitting, 32 debris removal teams will continue their work on Saturday, December 12 in the western and central Jesus Maria areas, as well as in the Old Gulch, Wendell, Moke Hill, East Murray Creek, Avenue A, Whiskey Slide, Hawver Road and Glencoe areas. Residents and workers are asked to slow down around workers and their equipment, and to be aware of the increased traffic risks from all of the different types of vehicles in work the areas.
A total of 776 sites, 733 with household hazardous waste, are registered to date for debris removal and 208 properties have been cleared and 77 properties have clear soil sample results. Dust and ash in the area may contain concentrated levels of heavy metals, asbestos, and other harmful materials and care should be taken to minimize contact and exposures. Erosion control activity continues on cleared properties, four FEMA manufactured units have been installed to this point for displaced residents and more are coming.
The Butte Fire burned 70,868 acres. It ignited on September 9 and was contained on October 15. The public information line for Butte fire information has been changed to 209-754-6824 and 209-754-6825. The hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.