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SACRAMENTO, November 9, 2021 – In an effort to continue rebuilding after the 2021 wildfire season, emergency crews from the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) are moving quickly to clean up contaminated debris from four more fires that raced across the state this year.

DTSC emergency response crews assessed and removed household hazardous waste from Walt Tyler Elementary School in Grizzly Flats, CA. The school was destroyed by the Caldor Fire. Photo courtesy DTSC

At the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, DTSC HazMat crews are moving into Trinity, Siskiyou, and Tulare counties this week to assess 46 properties and remove household hazardous waste (HHW) and bulk asbestos left behind in the aftermath of the River Complex and Windy fires.  

Crews last week assessed 66 properties in Kern and Mendocino counties, removing the contaminated debris that remained after the French and Hopkins fires.  

“These intense, climate change driven fires are affecting more Californians each year and put our environment at risk when wildfire debris becomes hazardous,” said Dr. Meredith Williams, Director of DTSC. “We work in concert with other state agencies to move in quickly when directed, remove these environmental threats, and help our wildfire survivors begin to rebuild their lives.”

The State’s removal of HHW and bulk asbestos from burned properties is the first step of the State’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program, which helps Californians displaced by wildfires get back on the road to recovery. 

To date, DTSC has assessed more than 2,355 parcels burned in 16 of this year’s wildfires, as illustrated on the department’s real-time public dashboard.

More information on resources available to California’s wildfire survivors may be found on the Cal OES website.

Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942