LNU Lightning Complex
Property owners impacted by the LNU Lighting Complex fire can receive notifications related to debris removal and rebuilding by visiting https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/10706e93c5b84f11a21b95de5de69274, by emailing [email protected] and over the phone by calling (707) 784-6765. Ongoing recovery updates will be provided at https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/rm/2020_lnu_lightning_complex_fire/default.asp
On August 24, the Solano County Health Officer proclaimed a local health emergency due to the hazardous health conditions created from the LNU Lightning Complex fire’s destruction of multiple structures in unincorporated Solano County. Structures damaged or destroyed from a fire may contain hazardous waste and materials that can threaten public health and the environment. It is very important that this debris be properly identified and disposed of in an appropriate manner.
To expedite recovery activities and ensure the safe removal of hazardous waste and fire debris from properties in the affected burn perimeter, Solano County Office of Emergency Services has been coordinating disaster assistance funding with State and federal agencies. During the recovery phase, Solano County is implementing the State’s two-phase Wildfire Debris Removal Program. Phase One involves the removal of household hazardous waste, which includes things like BBQ propane tanks, electronics, paint, fertilizers, and asbestos containing materials. Phase One must be completed on a property before Phase Two can begin and both must be completed before the property can be repopulated and rebuilding can begin.
Household Hazardous Waste Removal (HHW)
On September 9, 2020 teams from Solano County Environmental Health and California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) began assessing properties within the burn area and removing any HHW that pose a threat to human health and the environment such as batteries, pesticides, fertilizers, cleaning products and paints. This work is ongoing and is anticipated to be completed by early October. Phase One funding is provided through a coordinated effort between local, State, and federal agencies so there is no cost to property owners. A notice is posted on the property after it has been cleared of HHW so it is normal to still see fire debris and ash remaining on the property that is to be removed during Phase Two.
(More info on HHW removal at the Department of Toxic Substances Control website, https://DTSC.Ca.Gov )
Phase Two includes the removal of all structure debris, asbestos identified but not removed during Phase One, foundations, trees that present a safety hazard, and some soil to ensure the site is clean and safe for rebuilding. The remaining fire debris and ash may contain hazardous substances like heavy metals and asbestos fibers. Appropriate PPE must be worn to handle this debris. Before this work can be done, property owners must decide if they prefer to proceed with a Phase Two - Private Cleanup Option or Phase Two - Public Cleanup Option.
Private Cleanup Option
Property owners who choose not to wait to participate in a government-sponsored cleanup program, must hire a licensed contractor(s) to remove fire debris and cleanup their property. A Phase Two Private Option Application and Work Plan must be approved by Solano County Environmental Health prior to commencement of work. Private debris removal and cleanup is done at the property owner’s expense and must follow the standards set forth by the state for wildfire debris removal.
Public Cleanup Option
On September 30, Solano County received notification that FEMA approved funding for a government sponsored cleanup program in coordination with local, state, and federal agencies. At the time this newsletter went to print, program details had not been announced including how quickly the government contractors could begin the work. This would be a no cost program to the property owner if they elect to use this option. It is important to note that any insurance proceeds that the owner would otherwise be entitled to for debris clean up under their policy would be transferred to FEMA to offset costs of the program. Any and all costs beyond insurance coverage will not be charged to the property owner but will be covered by the government sponsored cleanup program.