Debris Removal Requirements after Wildfire

En español »

Private Debris Removal for Unincorporated Sonoma County

Property owners in the unincorporated portions of the county may move forward with hiring their own properly licensed private contractor to complete the Phase 2 debris removal process after Phase 1 is completed and the appropriate private debris removal permit is obtained from the County of Sonoma. Find the requirements for that process on this page, below.

Private debris removal deadline set

The County of Sonoma has set June 1, 2021 as the deadline for completion of private fire debris cleanup from the Walbridge, Meyers and Glass fires.

The deadline requires that properties be cleared of all fire debris and that final clearance documents be submitted to Sonoma County Environmental Health on or before June 1, 2021. This deadline pertains to all private debris removal of residential and commercial properties in Sonoma County. The Sonoma County Health Officer declared a local health emergency due to the hazardous debris present at burn sites. It is critical that all remaining debris be removed in a safe and timely manner to protect property owners, neighboring properties and our watersheds.

Please contact Sonoma County Environmental Health at EHDebrisRemoval@sonoma-county.org or (707) 565-6700 if you have any questions about the cleanup of your property. 

Property owners who fail to meet this deadline may be subject to penalties and/or abatement actions to make sure toxic ash and other hazardous materials and debris are removed from properties in the burn areas.

How to sign up for the private debris removal program

To ensure safety to workers, the public, and the environment, certain protocols must be followed during a wildfire disaster when removing structural ash and debris from a fire.

Due to the public health emergency, property owners are required to remove all burn debris from their properties in a timely manner.

The property owner is required to submit the following to Sonoma County Environmental Health for approval prior to commencing debris removal:
Sonoma County Debris Removal Application
Signed Appendix A
Work plan

After completion of the work described in the approved work plan, the owner must submit a certification showing that all work has been completed as specified.

All cleanup activities must be completed pursuant to standards set forth by the County.

Forms and documents for property owners

Debris Removal Requirements
Debris Removal Application
Social Distancing Protocol & COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan – Appendix A
Sample Site Work Plan
Debris Removal Completion Certification
Conditional Exemptions from Debris Removal Requirements
Debris Removal Exemption Application
Debris Removal Recycling and Disposal Resources

These standards were established to ensure the protection of public health. Documentation of adequate clean-up and proper disposal is required. Property owners are encouraged to review all requirements thoroughly before commencing debris removal. Property owners will not be allowed to build on their property until there is a certification of completion for the property cleanup.

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, California has issued industry guidance for construction. All contractors must read the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Construction and complete the COVID-19 General Checklist for Construction Employers.

The County is available to answer questions by calling (707) 565-6700 or emailing EHDebrisRemoval@sonoma-county.org.

To ensure safety to the workers, public, and the environment, certain protocols must be followed after a (wildfire) disaster when removing structural ash and debris from a fire.