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Board of Supervisors Sets Debris Deadlines

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. (November 17, 2017) – The Lake County Board of Supervisors greatly appreciates the many Sulphur Fire survivor-property owners who have acted quickly to ensure hazardous debris is removed from their properties in a timely manner.

Thanks to the vigilance of these survivors and effective outreach by the Health Services Department, Environmental Health Director Ray Ruminski and County staff, more than 120 properties were signed up for debris removal services by the State program’s November 13 deadline.

Wildfire debris still poses significant risk to public health, and must be removed as soon as possible.

The Board of Supervisors had previously set a deadline of December 15 to declare intent to have debris removed by a private contractor, with abatements expected in January. 

The California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) recently clarified that, due to expected winter rains, an earlier deadline is required.

With the State debris removal program’s deadline past, survivor-property owners in the unincorporated areas of Lake County have two options:

1) Secure a private contractor to remove wildfire debris, and provide a written opt-out plan to Lake County Environmental Health no later than Friday, December 1; or

2) Wildfire debris will be abated as a Code Enforcement matter beginning in December, 2017. 

Abatement is the most costly option, in most cases.

Property owners are strongly discouraged from cleaning up their own structural debris, out of concern for their health and the health of their neighbors.

Per the State deadline, all County properties with no opt-out plan on file by December 1 will be subject to abatement orders.  Properties located within the City of Clearlake are subject to the Clearlake City Council’s deadline of November 29.

“The best [privately contracted] jobs are when the contractor files the paperwork, and submits their work plan,” shares Ruminski.

“In the wake of wildfire, there are many priorities that require attention, and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the adjustment of these deadlines.  Unfortunately, it is beyond our control,” relates County Administrative Officer Carol Huchingson.

For more information, or to document your intent to use a private contractor and file your opt-out plan, please contact Lake County Environmental Health, at (707) 263-1164.