Santa Cruz County Fire Recovery

Debris Removal
Environmental Health

Last Updated: October 15, 2020

If your home was lost or damaged during the fire, please know that you have our sympathies and that we will work with you to make the effort to reenter and rebuild your home as safe and easy as possible.

Recovery is a multi-phase process that includes steps for reentry, debris removal, wells and water systems, septic systems, and other environmental health-related questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Debris Removal.


Exemption from Phase II: If you have a structure if the only burn debris on a parcel is from non-residential structures less than 120 square feet, fences, and non-structural wood material. File an exemption application with Environmental Health and receive approval before any work on your site can begin. Click here for more information on the exemption program.

Phase I

The first step of recovery includes the cleanup of household hazardous waste and debris removal. Phase I of this process is ongoing and will be overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will remove items and substances known to be a threat to human and environmental health. To track Phase 1 progress, visit our Maps + Data section.

Click here for an FAQ on Phase 1 debris removal, as well as a hotline for questions

Phase II

Once USEPA teams have removed household hazardous waste, property owners may move into Phase II.

Click here for Phase II Private Contractor Debris Cleanup information

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