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2020 California Fires

Site Contact:
EPA Region 9


Site Location:
Felton, CA 95018

In August 2020, the CZU Lightning Complex, Carmel, River, Dolan Fires, and SCU Lightning Complex fire had a devastating impact on the Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. The North Complex fire also burned and impacted Butte County. In September 2020 the Creek Fire burned more than 357,650 acres in Fresno and Madera counties. The State of California proclaimed a State of Emergency in for the fires on August 18, 2020.

EPA is providing support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and state and local partners in the ongoing joint response to the fires. Beginning September 9, 2020, FEMA activated EPA Emergency Support Function 10 (ESF-10) and issued Mission Assignments (MAs) under ESF-10 to support Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) assessments and removal at residential parcels in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Fresno, Butte, and Madera counties.

HHW includes leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic. This includes products such as paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, herbicides and pesticides. Following a fire, these products require special handling and disposal, particularly if their containers are compromised.

These efforts will reduce potential threats to public health and safety and allow safe removal of solid waste, debris and ash in the fire-affected areas. EPA will coordinate with cities and counties to keep communities informed about the status of the Agency's HHW collection activities.