LANCASTER – Homeowners recovering from last year’s Lake and Bobcat fires have less than a week left to take advantage of a free debris removal program.
Property owners have two options. They can submit a right of entry form by Feb. 1 to opt in to the program, and work will be completed by state-contracted professional crews and coordinated by the county. Commercial and public properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Those who prefer to remove debris using their own resources or who aren’t eligible for the first option can complete an application by Jan. 31 and complete all work by March 15.
Completed applications can be submitted in person or dropped off on weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Antelope Valley Office of Building and Safety at 355 A. East Avenue K-6 in Lancaster, but applicants should call 661-524-2390 before delivering forms to the office.
Forms may also be mailed to Los Angeles County Public Works, Environmental Programs Division, to the attention of the Bobcat Fire and Lake Fire Debris Removal Team, P.O. Box 1460, Alhambra, CA 91802, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
More information is available at lacounty.gov/recovery. Residents can also call the LA County Public Works Debris Removal Hotline at 626-979-5370 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for additional help. The county has partnered with the governor’s Office of Emergency Services to provide fire debris removal services at no direct cost to Lake and Bobcat wildfire survivors.
The fires in August and early September devastated the communities of Juniper Hills, Valyermo, and Pearblossom, and the county has been engaged in coordinating federal, state and local assistance programs.
The Lake Fire, which broke out Aug. 12 near Lake Hughes, burned 31,089 acres and destroyed or damaged more than 15 homes and 21 buildings before being 100% contained more than a month later.
The Bobcat Fire erupted in the Angeles National Forest on Sept. 6, blackening about 116,000 acres, destroying 171 structures, including 87 residences and the Nature Center at the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area, and threatened the Mt. Wilson Observatory. It damaged another 47 structures, including 28 residences, and took weeks to fully contain.