About 6 to 8 Million Tons of Toxic Debris, Soil and Concrete Left Behind in Wake of Camp Fire

Following the deadly and destructive Camp Fire, an aerial view of the Northern California town of Paradise is seen on Nov. 15, 2018. (Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Following the deadly and destructive Camp Fire, an aerial view of the Northern California town of Paradise is seen on Nov. 15, 2018. (Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The first job was to contain the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. The second is to deal with what it left behind.

With more than 17,000 structures destroyed by the Camp fire, authorities will soon begin a cleanup that will test their ingenuity like never before: removal of an estimated 6 to 8 million tons of toxic rubble, soil and concrete strewn across 150,000 acres of mountain terrain, an area roughly the size of Chicago.

If all goes according to plan, what is expected to be the most expensive cleanup campaign in state history will be completed within six months to a year, allowing some displaced Paradise residents to begin rebuilding their homes by summer, said Sean Smith, state debris removal coordinator.

“We still have some creative work to do,” Smith said, “but I’m pushing hard to get that debris off the ground in time for people to start rebuilding in optimal weather.”

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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