Butte County, Brian Watt, Sukey Lewis discussed on All Things Considered

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

You're listening to all things considered from NPR news. From K Q E D news. I'm Tiffany Cam. High tomorrow marks one month since the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history. I ignited now in the aftermath of the campfire people who lost everything are beginning to pick up the pieces of their lives this week, the first phase of the first step of recovery and rebuilding began in paradise has Matt team started the process of removing hazardous waste things like as best as an propane tanks from Bern areas and Butte county, but officials say the entire cleanup job is going to be a massive effort and could take about a year to complete kick. Sukey? Lewis is familiar with this long and difficult work. She reported on the north bay wildfires cleanup last year an effort that became the biggest cleanup jobs since the nineteen o. Six earthquake sukey spoke this morning with Brian watt about how the recovery effort and Butte county might compare. Where it's just so so much bigger. I'm actually going to let the director of the governor's office of emergency services. Mark duty. Explain the magnitude of the north bay cleanup compared to this job. And when we were all said and done with that operation, we removed enough debris to make to Golden Gate Bridge is if you could imagine in this case, we are at least four times as much debris. Wow. I can't even wrap my head around that, but where will all this debris go. Well, that's going to be a really big challenge with this cleanup because the debris has to go quite a bit further. The local landfill in Butte county just doesn't have the room. So they're talking about taking it to landfills, south of Butte county and with the metal and concrete. The state is talking about actually sending it by rail to Utah and Nevada for recycling. So with the north bay cleanup job there were some issues that you reported on. Extensively. Homeowners complaining of property damage contractors taking away more soil than necessary. Is there a plan to prevent these kinds of things from happening again? Well, last time around the state actually went to the federal government and ask them for help. Because it was such a big project this time the state saying they're going to do it. They actually have more experience than the army corps of engineers who did it last time that was their first cleanup job and this time coury cycle. The state's recycling agency is going to head up the job, and they've actually been doing fire cleanup for about ten years. And they say they've learned a lot of lessons through that experience. And they really wanna have a closer eye on the whole thing. Here's Eric lamb ru who's heading up the recovery for cow ES what we will not be doing is creating swimming pool size holes in your yard. We will simply be removing the contaminated soil that needs to be removed. And nothing more. So I know it's hard to be specific about how long this will take. But what is the general timeline for the project? So coury cycle is working on putting together the requirements for the job. And then they're going to put it out to bid. They're trying to find the head contractors and begin hauling away debris by about mid January. I'm but before even any of that can start the state has to get residents to sign on. So they're starting to do these town hall meetings and trying to get them all to all sign these right of entry forms to allow the government to come onto their property and remove things. This entire process though, is expected to take about a year that was khaki sukey Lewis with Brian watt talking about cleanup efforts that began this week in paradise..

Coming up next