California Wildfires Debris Monitoring


Fire-ravaged Northern California gets help from True North

True North/Neel-Schaffer provided Electronic Monitoring of Private Property Debris Removal and PA Consulting (financial recovery assistance) following the devastating 2015 wildfire season in California.

The California Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) managed the remediation of damage resulting from several 2015 fires. CalRecycle hired True North to provide third-party debris removal monitoring, and True North assisted in reviewing and reconciling remediation contractor invoices to support FEMA reimbursement for both the Butte Area and Valley Area fires.

Removal of ash and debris from destroyed structures mitigated community health hazards. The remediation projects allowed the affected communities to safely rebuild following the disaster.

Multiple contractors were hired under “cost-plus” remediation contracts, which provided CalRecycle the ability to closely manage the activities of the contractors in cleaning the burn sites. The True North monitoring and PA team included more than 30 monitors, nine supervisors and eight accountants/clerks, as well as a Program Director, Project Manager, Officer-in-Charge, QA/QC Manager, Data Manager, and Health and Safety Officer.

The Butte Area Fire project destroyed approximately 70,000 acres, mostly in Calaveras County, and led to Rights-of-Entry on more than 800 private properties. The Valley Area Fire project included ROEs on more than 1,300 private properties, across about 70,000 acres, mostly in Lake County.

On-site remediation monitoring included tracking the work hours of remediation contractor personnel and equipment. Truck loading and debris removal were also documented for separate waste streams, including ash, metals, debris, soil and concrete. Not all waste streams were FEMA reimbursable, which necessitated separate tracking of waste streams.

True North monitors prepared paper “Daily Activity Logs” as a backup to their Electronic Load Tickets. True North’s proprietary North Track electronic ticketing system was used with 10-inch tablet computers to accurately track remediation activities. Data was uploaded daily to the North Track Data Management system. This field data was used to assist in reconciling contractor invoices.

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