Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi says lessons learned from the Oakland fire in 1991 sparked the idea to use one contractor for debris removal.
“It took forever to settle the insurance issues then get the clean up going. Then in the 2003 fires we had insurance problems and we jumped on those but then each individual had to go out and get a contractor…”
He says using one contractor for the clean-up worked well following the fires in the Lake Tahoe area this summer. Following last month’s fires in Southern California, Garamendi held meetings with local officials to put together the debris removal program. San Diego County just launched theirs about a week ago. Residents can voluntarily sign up. County officials say their goal is to have debris removed from one-thousand burned out homes in their area by the end of December.