Re-Population / Re-entry

You are entering a hazardous area – enter at your own risk. In the burn area, you will encounter dangerous conditions and will be exposed to toxic materials that may include but are not limited to:
-Embers/hot ash
-Hazardous materials, including: ash, asbestos, heavy metals, oils, fire retardants, pesticides and other hazardous materials
-Puncture hazards, including: broken pipes, exposed nails, broken glass, damaged structural elements
-Potential explosive hazards including: propane tanks, ammunition, and solvents
-Slippery surfaces
-Toxic airborne particles
-Uneven ground
-Unstable structures
Wear protective gear and minimize time of exposure. Further information about health and safety when returning home can be found using the links directly under “Return Home” above, or by visiting www.buttecounty.net and scrolling down to “When Returning Home”. 

The information in PDF form can be found here:
Healthy and Safety Information – English
Health and Safety Information – Spanish

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services state hazardous waste cleanup program will be starting the initial hazardous waste clean up in the burn area on Oct. 6. This is the removal of hazardous waste such as appliances, chemicals, batteries, electronics, paint, solvents, and other hazardous materials. Residents do not need to request this service or apply for it. It will be done throughout the burn area as the first phase in property clean up.

Offering assistance with personal property recovery for residential homeowners. Trained volunteer teams help with safely assisting with the recovery of valuable personal items that may not have burned completely. To access this free service, contact by phone:916-693-3428 or by email: responddr@csbc.com.

Offering owners of individuals wells information on precautionary measures and how to disinfect and have their well water tested by a certified laboratory.

See the full information here: https://bit.ly/3hRgEOb

On Monday, September 14, 2020 Butte County Public Health issued the following information:
BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. – Dr. Robert Bernstein, Butte County Health Officer, has issued a hazard advisory strongly suggesting no habitation of destroyed property due to the North Complex West Zone until property is declared clear of hazardous waste and structural ash and debris by Butte County Environmental Health. There is evidence from recent fires in California that homes and other types of property destroyed by fire contain high and concerning levels of heavy metals, lead, mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and/or other carcinogens. Some property may have the presence of
radioactive materials. Exposure to hazardous substances may lead to acute and chronic health effects, and may cause long-term public health and environmental impacts. As areas affected by the fire with destroyed homes and property are opened to residents, residents will have limited access to visit property to collect recognizable belongings and mementoes that may have survived the fire. Residents should review the Health and Safety Precaution for Re-entry packet, which will be distributed at controlled re-entry checkpoints. The county is working with various state and federal partners to establish a process for the assessment and removal of household hazardous waste and asbestos, as well as structural ash and debris from the fire. This process will be announced to the public upon its completion.

The information can be found here: https://twitter.com/CountyofButte/status/1305666601799229444

On Monday, September 14, 2020 Butte County Public Health issued the following information:
BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. – Dr. Robert Bernstein, Butte County Health Officer, has issued a hazard advisory strongly suggesting no habitation of destroyed property due to the North Complex West Zone until property is declared clear of hazardous waste and structural ash and debris by Butte County Environmental Health. There is evidence from recent fires in California that homes and other types of property destroyed by fire contain high and concerning levels of heavy metals, lead, mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and/or other carcinogens. Some property may have the presence of radioactive materials. Exposure to hazardous substances may lead to acute and chronic health effects, and may cause long-term public health and environmental impacts. As areas affected by the fire with destroyed homes and property are opened to residents, residents will have limited access to visit property to collect recognizable belongings and mementoes that may have survived the fire. Residents should review the Health and Safety Precaution for Re-entry packet, which will be distributed at controlled re-entry checkpoints. The county is working with various state and federal partners to establish a process for the assessment and removal of household hazardous waste and asbestos, as well as structural ash and debris from the fire. This process will be announced to the public upon its completion.

The information can be found online here: https://twitter.com/CountyofButte/status/1305666601799229444

Provides tips on how to clean up and protect yourself from ash caused by wildfires. Online: https://bit.ly/3cs1EFx

Providing a team of volunteer archaeologists and trained canines to help survivors of the Bear Fire to recover the cremated remains of their loved ones at no cost. To register to get help, volunteer or donate to the cause, visit https://altahf.org/get-involved. Once the fire has cooled and the clients are allowed back to their properties, the archaeologist teams will meet the clients at their properties to grant access sign release forms, and partake in overseeing the process.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has created a dashboard that lists the total number of parcels impacted by the North Complex Fire, the number of parcels completed over 24 hours, and the number of parcels completed to date. Each parcel is assigned a color based on its status. When the assessment and removal has been completed for each parcel, the color will change to green which indicates that there is no follow-up necessary by DTSC HazMat crews for Phase 1.

To view the dashboard please visit: https://bit.ly/2Ib9LLD

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is leading the survey, collection and disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) at properties affected by the North Complex Fire.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/HHWFlyer

Return Home

Information regarding Right of Entry forms are in development at this time. Right of Entry forms are not expected to be available until after the completion of hazardous waste removal. Once available, the information will be posted on the homepage of Butte County’s website, http://www.buttecounty.net


Please Note: Individuals who are unable to return to their home or property without a Right of Entry form are advised not to return to their properties until they have one, as they risk being disqualified from the State’s debris removal program if they return without one.

Building Inspectors are continuing to inspect structures that are in evacuation zones. Individuals returning to their property may see one of three different types of placards posted by the Butte County Building Department – a green, yellow, or red placard. Individuals should be sure to read all notes on the placard and do not remove, alter or cover placards until authorized to do so by the Butte County Building Division.

Green: The Green Placard means the structure is “Safe for Occupancy.” The structure is safe to occupy as long as it has water, electrical and gas service (if gas appliances). The structure may be damaged, but the safety of the structure was not significantly changed by the disaster.
Yellow: The Yellow Placard means the structure has been damaged and occupancy is restricted as noted on the placard as long as the structure has water, electricity and gas (if gas appliances). Repairs will require permits from the County.
Red: The Red Placard means “No Entry.” Structures are damaged and pose an imminent threat to life or safety under expected loads or other unsafe conditions. Do not enter these structures.

Please Note: Although a structure may be placarded “Inspected” or “Restricted Use”, specific areas in and around the building could be further identified as unsafe.
Individuals who believe their home or business has been damaged and has no placard posted, may contact the Building Division at (530)552-3700 or dsbuilding@buttecounty.net.