Fawn Fire Cleanup – Starting Cleanup and then Finding Out Federal Money is Available
UPDATE: As of 12/14, Federal/State money is now available for homeowners affected by the Fawn Fire. Learn more by clicking the link below!
It’s still not clear if state or federal money will be available for homeowners who lost homes in the Fawn Fire. We still believe there’s a decent chance funding will become available because there are rumors of a federal contract coming for the work. We haven’t seen that in writing, although we’re working on federal contracts currently on other fires across the state. We’ve advised many of you to wait if you don’t have insurance coverage at all or if your insurance coverage is low.
Here’s what you can do if you want to get the process started: spend as little money as possible, and participate in the state or federally funded option if it becomes available:
Prior to hauling away ash and debris to a local landfill, the County requires property owners to have an asbestos survey done on the structures lost in the wildfire, submit a demolition permit application to Shasta County – and a National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) notification in some instances – you can then obtain your $2,000 disposal voucher to West Central Landfill for disposal, and ultimately dispose of all ash, debris and any contaminated soil from your property.
This is work our firm does. It costs roughly $2,000 to complete the asbestos surveys, prepare the applications and notifications, map the property and prepare a total package for submittal. The work can be done at any time and it takes roughly 10 days for our office to schedule and complete the work. Homeowners have the option of moving forward with this work, paying for services, and then ideally by the end of December a final decision will have been issued on state or federally funded options you can choose from.
If you started this work with our office but then the federal option becomes available, you could still opt-in and you’d only potentially be out the funds required for our services to date – we say ‘potentially’ because if you have insurance coverage for debris removal, then our services would be covered under that and the State or Federal program will only utilize the amount of funds remaining/available for debris removal.
If you have no insurance or are paying out of pocket, then you would be out the funds if you paid for our services only to opt-in later if the funding became available. The State or Federal program would do the same work our office completed but they utilize their own contractors – and we know from experience that they’ll not reduce costs or even accept the survey work completed by anyone else. This option is probably the best one for people who are anxious to get the process started but want to wait as long as possible to see if the funding becomes available. If the funding doesn’t become available, then you’ll already know whether asbestos is present, all your paperwork will be in place, and you can simply move forward with the excavation contractor of your choice as soon as you elect to do so. If you’re not in a hurry to complete the process, or don’t have insurance coverage, then we still recommend you wait.
We have lots of information and articles on how you can maximize your insurance coverage for debris removal, the pros and cons of opting in vs. opting out, and more – that can be found on our general wildfire information page here. Information previously provided on both private and state or federal funded options is described below. Please contact the Guzi-West team if you have further questions or need additional information at 888-351-8189 or contact Clay Guzi directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-351-8189 x 5. We sincerely hope everyone is safe and healthy and that the clean-up and recovery process runs smoothly for each of you. If you need advice, we’ll tell you exactly what we’d do if we were in the same situation.
Option 1, Government Cleanup: Let’s assume that the government funded option becomes available and you’ll have the choice to ‘opt-in’ to participate or ‘opt-out’ and use your own insurance to clean up the ash and debris and perform required testing. We put together a flowchart, found here, to show how this process works regardless of which option you choose. If you sign a right of entry (ROE) form authorizing access and the cleanup of your property, the government and their subcontractors do the work, and you eventually get cleared to re-build.
Option 2, Private Cleanup is your chosen option or the only option that ends up being available. Shasta County is aware this is a tremendous burden on homeowners who are already struggling, so they’re doing what they can to lessen the burden. There are no fees for the associated permitting required for cleanup, it appears no waste profiling of the waste debris will be required for disposal beyond completion of an asbestos survey, no soil sampling is required at completion of the cleanup, and there is a $2,000 disposal voucher for West Central Landfill which will be given to homeowners who had 50% or greater damage to a residential structure. The process is essentially to have an asbestos survey done on the structures lost in the wildfire, submit a demolition permit application to Shasta County – and a National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) notification in some instances – obtain your $2,000 disposal voucher to West Central Landfill, dispose of all ash, debris and any contaminated soil, and retain any disposal documentation. You should then be cleared to pursue a building permit.
We have offices and personnel in the areas of Humboldt/Del Norte, McKinleyville, Eureka, Chico, and Redding, California that can help you with fire debris characterization and debris removal.