OROVILLE, Calif. — Phase one of the debris removal process in Paradise is now in motion, and crews are working to remove household hazardous waste.
For this phase, homeowners do not have to sign up. Instead, officials say they are spending about one to two hours at each home and removing lead batteries, propane tanks and other items.
Survivors of the Camp Fire were at a community meeting in Oroville Thursday night to get answers about the debris removal process.
Several people asked when they will be allowed to go home, but officials said it depends on when areas are deemed safe.
When phase two begins, the rest of the fire debris left by structures on the property will be removed.
"The second phase is the responsibility of the property owner," said Casey Hatcher, Butte County public information officer. "You need to clear the fire debris from structures that's on your property."
To begin this phase, the property owner will have to fill out a right of entry form if they want to receive funding. If they qualify, the debris removal process for phase two will be fully funded by the local, state, and federal government using taxpayer dollars.
Officials say it won't be quick. Phase two is expected to take anywhere from nine months to one year to complete.
During phase two, crews will remove several inches of soil, foundation, stem walls and other parts that would not be safe to rebuild on. For efficiency, officials will coordinate their work with the town and county and focus on areas with the most right of entry forms.
(The timelines will vary, and more information can be found at buttecountyrecovers.org)
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Officials did say that property owners have the right to choose and pay for their own debris removal process using their own contractors. An opt out option will be coming from Butte County or the town of Paradise sometime in the future with instructions.
However, the opt out option will have to pass certain requirements and certifications.
In the community meeting Thursday, one person asked how to protect their water, gas and utility lines.
Officials said to let them know where the lines are, since they will not be removing them. They will only be removing concrete and debris.
If you were not able to attend, or if you have more questions, a second community meeting to answer questions about the debris removal process will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday Dec. 17 at the Calvary Chapel Church in Chico.
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