SonomaCountyRecovers: Official recovery information for Sonoma County fires

Debris Removal

Important Reminders for Property Owners Participating in the State-Sponsored Debris Removal Program

It is important to consult with your insurance provider to be certain of your policy and coverages for debris removal.

Debris Removal Insurance Reimbursement

Set Aside Insurance Claim Funds Designated for Debris Removal

  • If you have homeowner’s insurance, and receive a check for your dwelling claim coverages – depending on your policy – this may include an amount designated for debris removal.
  • In coordination with state and federal agencies, the County of Sonoma will work with you to collect the amount specified for debris removal in your insurance, but this process will take time.
  • In the meantime, do not spend any funds from your insurance claim payment that are specified for debris removal for other rebuilding activities.

Save Your Receipts for Any Private Debris Removal Work

  • Some residential properties may require private debris removal for burnt trees, outbuildings under 120 square feet, or other areas not included in the government-sponsored debris removal program.
  • Insurance claim funds specified for debris removal can be used to cover those costs.
  • It is important that you save your receipts for any private debris removal costs.
  • The County of Sonoma will only collect reimbursement for the government-sponsored debris removal program if there are any debris removal funds left unspent in your insurance coverage after you have completed the private removal.
  • You will need to provide your receipts to the County for verification of the private removal work at a later date.

For more information, contact:

Sonoma County Office of Recovery & Resiliency

  • Visit: 575 Administration Drive Suite 104A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
  • Call: (707) 565 - 1222
  • Email:

California Department of Insurance Resources

Homeowners’ (HO) insurance policies cover costs for debris removal in a few different ways. You should consult your specific insurance policy to determine how debris removal benefits are paid. An Insurance Fact Sheet from the California Department of Insurance explains different coverages and the two typical kinds of Homeowners’ Insurance.  The department’s Top Tips for Wildfire Claimants also offers advice to those who lost their homes in the fires.

Debris Removal Insurance FactSheet

For more information on debris removal choices, click below:

The period to apply for the Sonoma County Consolidated Debris Removal Program closed on Monday, November 13th, 2017.

If you have circumstances that prevented you from submitting your Right-of-Entry form by the deadline, please call 707-565-6700. Late Right-of-Entry form submissions will be considered on a case by case basis for inclusion in the Program.

Refer to the document below to learn about the types of debris that are eligible and not eligible for removal.

State/Federal Wildfire Debris Removal Program Eligibility

Right-of-Entry Permit Checklist for Property Owners

Sonoma County Environmental Health and the Public Works Department are working with CalOES and other federal and state partners in a program to facilitate safe removal and handling of burn debris and ash. To obtain this service a homeowner must complete the proper paperwork to allow these agencies to clean up their property.

Documents needed for submittal of the Debris Removal Right-of-Entry Permit:

  • Debris Removal Right-of-Entry Permit form English / Spanish
  • Government Issued ID
  • Insurance Policy
    • Declaration page
    • Debris Removal Coverage page
  • Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN)
  • Signatures of All Owners, Trustees or Power of Attorney
  • Trust or LLC Documents
    • 1st page of Trust, LLCetc.
    • Signature Authorization page
    • Power of Attorney signature page
    • Any other relevant pages

Debris Removal Right-of-Entry Permit Form

Available either:

Home Owned by 1 or More People

All owners listed on the title of the home must:

Home Owned by a Trust, LLC or other Legal Entity

If a home is owned by a trust, LLC or other legal entity, please bring:

  • The first page of the trust, LLC or other agreement.
  • The Signature Authorization page.
  • The Power of Attorney Signature page.
  • Any other relevant pages.

All trustees or signatories must sign the Debris Removal Right-of-Entry Permit form.

Insurance Policy

If the home is insured please bring a copy of the homeowner’s insurance policy. Especially important are the declaration page and the debris removal coverage page.

A copy of your insurance policy is needed because it contains a section outlining your debris removal coverage. Per CalOES part of the right-of-entry and debris removal process includes securing insurance reimbursement for the agencies if any is available after a homeowner rebuilds.

Application Process is Subject to Change

The County is working diligently with agency partners to finalize this process. Additional requirements may be necessary at a later date to complete the right to enter application process.

The Sonoma County Consolidated Fire Debris Removal Program has two phases: removal of household hazardous waste and removal of other fire-related debris.

Phase I: Household Hazardous Waste Removal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will inspect your property and remove any Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, asbestos siding, and paints. Review the progress of Phase I. Phase I of the Program is required for all residential properties.

Phase II: Debris Removal and Property Clean-up

Debris Removal Status Map

  • Option 1: Sonoma County Consolidated Debris Removal Program

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials are coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct fire-related debris removal from your property. This will include removal of all burnt debris, foundations, hazardous trees, and some soil to ensure the site is clean and safe for building. Phase II debris removal by USACE is optional. (DEADLINE FOR OPTION 1 HAS PASSED) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District (USACE) has established a Debris Removal Information Line for property owners affected by last year’s devastating wildfires in Northern California. The number for the USACE Debris Removal Information Line is 877-875-7681. May 16, 2018, is the last day USACE will accept new debris removal complaints via its phone line and email. Residential property owners who are registered for the government-sponsored debris removal program can also e-mail:

  • Option 2: Private Debris Clean-up

Property owners who do not qualify for, or who chose not to participate in, the Sonoma Consolidated Debris Removal Program, must hire a private contractor to remove fire debris and clean up their properties.

A Private Clean-up Application form must be submitted to the County of Sonoma or City of Santa Rosa, depending on the location of the property, prior to the commencement of work. Private debris removal is done at the homeowner’s expense and must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for disposal, authorized disposal sites, best management practices for activities on site, proper transportation and documentation of waste, and erosion control.

Debris Removal Completion

Government Sponsored Consolidated Debris Removal Program

Once the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) receives the soil testing results, they will evaluate if all levels are within the set limits and/or baseline values. If the results fall within those limits, the property will be cleared and the County will be notified by a letter that includes the property’s soil testing results.

Once the USACE notice is received by the County, the information is entered into our system and a robotic call will be made to the property owner.  Following the call, the property owner will be notified via a mailed letter sent to the address indicated on the Right of Entry (ROE) Form.

Private Cleanup Program

Submit Certification of Completed Work
After implementation of the approved Work Plan, the owner must submit a certification showing that all work has been completed as specified. The work must be completed pursuant to standards set forth by the City and or County and the State. Documentation of adequate clean-up and proper disposal will be required. Property owners will not be allowed to build on their property until there is a certification that the property cleanup and removal of all hazardous waste has been completed in accordance with applicable standards and approved by the City and or County.

For non‐residential structures less than 120 SQFT, fences, and non‐structural wood material, no work plan is required so long as the structures contained no paint, pesticides, herbicides, propane, or other similar hazardous substances, and so long as the requirements listed in the document below are followed. This exemption does not apply to parcels with asbestos or parcels that the EPA has flagged as potentially not cleared of household hazardous waste (HHW).

Click here to view requirements for minor burn debris removal and cleanup.

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, November 22, 2017.

Due to the public health emergency, property owners are required to clean their property of all ash and burn debris in a timely manner. If property owners choose not to participate in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program described above (or if their properties are ineligible for the program), they may undertake the clean-up at their own expense with work performed by qualified personnel as set forth in the documents below.

For City of Santa Rosa Residents:

Forms updated 11/7 to include Guidelines, Templates, Resource List for Property Owners, Contractors and Consultants 

Completed forms may be scanned and emailed to or delivered in person to:

Resilient City Permit Center
100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Room 6
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Phone: 707-543-4649

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm


For County of Sonoma Residents:

County of Sonoma Private Clean-up Application Forms (English)

Completed forms may be scanned and emailed to or delivered in person to:

Right-of-Entry (ROE) Processing Center
625 5th Street (between Riley and Humboldt)
Santa Rosa, CA
Phone: (707) 565-6700

Monday –  Friday
7:30am – 4:30pm

Landfills Accepting Ash and Debris

Contractors or individuals need to contact the facility prior to delivery to confirm facilities are currently accepting waste. Click here to view the list.

Health Screening Level Guidance

The summary tables in this document provide updated health screening level guidance and cleanup goals for the Sonoma County Complex Fires Alternative Program. Click here to view the document.

I submitted a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form but now I want to cancel, what do I do?

To cancel a previously-granted Right of Entry Permit, this cancellation form must be signed by the Owner(s), and either delivered to the Sonoma County Environmental Health at 625 5th Street, Santa Rosa CA 95404, or emailed to as a signed PDF. Sonoma County Environmental Health must receive this form on or prior to November 22, 2017.

All owners who signed the Right of Entry Permit must sign this request. Phone-in and verbal cancellations cannot be accepted. Cancellations can only be accepted up until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempts to notify the property owner 24-48 hours in advance of Ash and Debris Cleanup (as described in the Right of Entry Permit). Please note that the Director of Environmental Health may deny requests for cancellation after November 22, 2017 (the deadline for private cleanup application submission).

Right-of-Entry (ROE) Cancellation Form

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