News Release

T – 13– 20
Meredith Williams, Director

October 8, 2020

Contact: Gamaliel Ortiz
(916) 869-5422

Wildfire Cleanup Update: Nearly One Thousand Properties Cleared of Household Hazardous Waste at LNU; North Complex Fire Operations Underway

SACRAMENTO – This week, the Department of Toxic Substances Control resumes emergency Phase 1 cleanup operations to remove household hazardous waste and bulk asbestos from properties impacted by recent wildfires in Northern California.

“Sadly, more communities across California are facing the threat of wildfire destruction and environmental harm more than ever before,” said DTSC Director Meredith Williams. “Where there is a need, DTSC’s Emergency Response team will continue to be on the scene, protecting residents from exposure to household hazardous waste, as they continue their recovery.”

LNU Lightning Complex

DTSC has nearly completed Phase 1 cleanup of more than 950 properties impacted by the LNU fire in Lake, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties.

Through the duration of the LNU cleanup project, which began on Sept. 14, DTSC kept the public informed of the cleanup progress using DTSC’s real-time Public Dashboard mapping system. This tool also streamlines communication to hazardous waste personnel who are on the ground assessing and removing waste.

Phase 1 cleanup focuses on the removal of asbestos and household hazardous waste, which are in some cases ignitable, corrosive, or toxic. DTSC’s goal is to stop materials that can cause health and safety problems from spreading in the environment of these communities.

North Complex

The Department began cleanup activities in the North Complex fire on Tuesday, Oct. 5 in Butte County.

An interactive map for the North Complex fire has also been developed by DTSC and can be found here.

Currently two DTSC-led teams are removing household hazardous waste and a total of four teams will be available for the project beginning Oct. 12. They estimate that work to remove household hazardous waster from about 1,300 properties will take between eight and 12 weeks to complete.

Household hazardous waste includes car batteries, solvents, paints, aerosols, propane tanks, fertilizers, pool chemicals, and other potentially harmful materials found on home sites.

DTSC was mission tasked by the governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) and coordinated with the various counties and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Jones fire

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, DTSC completed the cleanup of 10 parcels impacted by the Jones fire in Nevada County.

Following the completion of Phase 1, counties coordinate the removal of remaining debris and ash in Phase 2.

To learn more about DTSC’s wildfire cleanup and recovery program, please go here.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.