Some Thomas Fire victims are in planning stages of rebuilding process

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
Approximately 40 Ojai Valley properties damaged in the Thomas Fire have not signed up for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) debris removal program or otherwise had their properties cleared, according to Charles Genkel of the Ventura County Environmental Health Division.
Homeowners who do not sign up for the no-cost CalRecycle program or hire a private contractor to remove fire debris face the possibility of having their property abated by Ventura County and the cost added to their property tax bill, said Genkel.
“We’ll be issuing notices to those property owners pretty soon,” he added. “It’s a matter of a public health emergency. Part of that is a timely clean up.”
In the Ojai Valley, 166 residents have signed up for the CalRecycle program and 88 properties have been cleared as of press time.
Genkel said CalRecycle teams expect to finish the debris removal process in April, though recent rains have caused some delays.

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