Paradise, CA — Officials are estimating the ruins left behind by three wildfires in California last month will cost at least $3-billion to clean up.
State and federal authorities must clear the debris left behind from the 19,000 homes and businesses destroyed. The cost will far surpass the $1.3-billion tab to clean up after the wine country fires of 2017. Unlike last year, the state will manage the cleanup contracts this time around. In 2017 there were hundreds of Northern California homeowners that complained that hired contractors hauled away too much dirt and damaged unbroken sidewalks, pipes and driveways. California Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci reports that OES will hire people to audit and closely watch over the debris removal process. Last year the US Army Corps of Engineers oversaw the cleanup, at the request of the state, due to resources being stretched thin. Most of the cleanup will be in the town of Paradise, which was destroyed by the Camp Fire. The funding will come from state, federal and local sources.