Burn sites could be hazardous with toxic chemicals, unstable trees and dangerous structures. With permission of the property owner, the DEQ will remove hazardous materials. But the clean-up process will be expensive with estimates of $70,000 per property.
“Right now what’s approved is a 75, 25 split to where those assisting with financial assistance will pay 75 percent of the cost and locals are responsible for 25 percent,” John Vial said.
The state of Oregon is currently petitioning FEMA to get the cost lowered, potentially to zero.
Vial says 2,490 residential structures were destroyed in the Almeda fire, along with 165 commercial properties.
The clean-up process will start in mid-October.
If a property owner decides to sift through the ash, they need to get clearance from local authorities and wear proper protective equipment, including an N95 mask.
Anna Weeks is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Originally from the Portland area, Anna is excited to explore Southern Oregon. In her free time, she can be found reading, running or watching sports.