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Sulphur Fire Recovery Information
Public Service Announcement
Contractor and Construction Fraud
The North Bay Disaster Fraud Task Force has received indications that contractor and/or construction fraud could be occurring in the North Bay Area, as part of the recovery efforts following the wildfire disaster. Contractor fraud involves illegal acts committed by unlicensed or unscrupulous contractors and includes performing substandard repairs, offering services that deliberately cheat a consumer, or contracting without a license. Contractors may also attempt to commit construction fraud, which includes knowingly obtaining money, property, or labor by false pretense.
Therefore, before signing a contract with a contractor for any wildfire-related repairs or rebuilding, consumers are encouraged to follow these guidelines:
- Do not do anything based only on a handshake. For both home improvement projects and new construction of single family homes, there must be a contract in writing signed by both parties and the consumer must be furnished a copy of the written agreement (signed by the contractor) before work starts. Additionally, all changes to the original contract must be made in writing and signed by both parties. After a disaster, consumers have seven business days to cancel a contract, as long as it was not signed in the contractor’s place of business.
- Be cautious when making a down payment because it is common for fraudsters who receive a big down payment to then disappear without completing any of the contracted work. For a home improvement job in California the down payment can total no more than 10% of the contract price or $1,000, whichever is less.
- It is illegal for an unlicensed person to advertise that they can do construction work unless the person clearly states that they are “not a licensed contractor.” The person must be licensed by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to contract for work that costs $500 or more (labor and materials).
- The contractors license number and business name must be displayed on all commercially registered vehicles used in the course of business. Additionally, the contractors license number must be listed on any contract, bid, or advertisement for construction work.
- Fraudsters may steal a business name and/or license number and represent it as their own or say that they work for a licensed contractor even though they are actually not affiliated with that contractor. For a home improvement project, only someone with a contractors license, or an employee of a licensed contractor who is a registered Home Improvement Salesperson on file with the CSLB, is allowed to give a bid and/or sign a contract.
- Consumers can use the “Instant License Check” feature on the CSLB website (www.cslb.ca.gov) to look up a contractor or Home Improvement Salesperson by name, license number, or doing business as (DBA), to verify that they are in fact a licensed contractor or registered Home Improvement Salesperson. Consumers can also get a wealth of information on rebuilding after a disaster by visiting the “Disaster Help Center” on the CSLB website.
It is a felony to contract without a license in a declared disaster area. Additionally, any person involved in a scheme to defraud a consumer of a residential or nonresidential structure in connection with the offer or performance of repairs to the structure for damage caused by a natural disaster could be ordered to make full restitution to the victim and/or pay a fine of up to $25,000 and could also be imprisoned.
If you believe you have been the victim of disaster-related contractor or construction fraud, please contact the FBI San Francisco Division at 415-553-7400 or https://tips.fbi.gov or the Contractors State License Board at
800-321-2752 or www.cslb.ca.gov.
Wildfire Debris Removal GIS Status Map
Clearlake, CA - December 12, 2017
The Northern California Wildfire Debris Removal GIS Status Map is now live! This will allow residents and other interested parties to check on the status of any Right of Entry applications that have been received.
There are two ways you can find the site:
Direct link: https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Farcg.is%2Fa1LCf&data=02%7C01%7CJodi.Traversaro%40caloes.ca.gov%7C195b0db318b64c41a91908d540e4ef48%7Cebf268ae303647149f69c9fd0e9dc6b9%7C0%7C0%7C636486274438192994&sdata=A%2BxpUUlHMjn0ZAB5HRTHxJw6%2FH%2Fhc3xJbp0LzyP04gA%3D&reserved=0
User-friendly: https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spk.usace.army.mil%2FCAwildfire%2F&data=02%7C01%7CJodi.Traversaro%40caloes.ca.gov%7C195b0db318b64c41a91908d540e4ef48%7Cebf268ae303647149f69c9fd0e9dc6b9%7C0%7C0%7C636486274438192994&sdata=iQcVxIlqGsBKaiC1yGlXYLKTjdauXI%2BOZA%2BIAWVLgjw%3D&reserved=0 and click on the STATUS MAP button on the left-hand side.
Sulphur Fire Debris Clean-Up Plan Deadline Set as November 29th
Clearlake, CA – November 18th, 2017
Debris removal crews are currently working seven days per week to expedite the removal of fire related debris. This debris is a public health hazard and presents a potential danger to the public and the environment.
On November 15th, Cal OES announced that jurisdictions will be required to submit to Cal OES on December 1st a list of properties where there is an order to abate. In order to meet that deadline, at a Special City Council meeting on November 16th, the City Council set November 29th as the deadline to provide a written debris clean-up plan to Lake County Environmental Health.
According to City Manager, Greg Folsom, “It is critical that property owners meet with Lake County Environmental Health and file their debris removal plan within the next few days. Unfortunately, due to the public health hazard potential of the fire debris, properties that have neither filed a Right of Entry nor a debris self-removal plan will be subject to summary abatement proceedings through the City’s Code Enforcement Department.”
For more information, or to document your intent to use a private contractor and file your opt-out plan, please contact Lake County Environmental Health, at 707-263-1164.
Sulphur Fire Update – Right of Entry Deadline November 13th
Lake County, CA – November 6th, 2017
Contact: Ray Ruminski, Environmental Health Director, 707-263-1164
Greg Folsom, City Manager, 707-994-8201
Lake County property owners whose properties were destroyed by the Sulphur Fire are able to benefit from a government program to remove the fire debris at no out of pocket cost. This program will ensure that properties are cleaned of any hazardous waste and debris in a timely manner. However, the State of California, CalOES has set the deadline to sign up for the program by 5pm on Monday, November 13th.
Property owners can sign up for the program by submitting a Right of Entry (ROE) to the Lake County Environmental Health Department or at City of Clearlake City Hall. By submitting the ROE, residential property owners are granting permission for contractors hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean their property of fire related debris. Property owners who participate in the program are only liable for the cost of clean up to the debris clean up limits allowed by their insurance policy. Property owners without insurance will not have to pay at all.
Property owners have the option of having the debris removed by their own contractors and paying for debris removal themselves, but not removing the debris is not a legal option. This option requires the completion and submission of the Private Cleanup Application. The debris must be removed in a timely manner before hazardous materials begin to runoff into the lake with the winter storms. The work must be done to standards established in ordinances and regulations so that health and safety risks are adequately addressed for the community and the environment. Property owners who fail to clean up their properties will be subject to nuisance abatement proceedings.
Right of Entry forms are available online at the California Wildfires Statewide Recovers Resources website located at: http://wildfirerecovery.org/debris-removal/right-of-entry/ or at the Lake County Public Health Sulphur Fire webpage located at:
With the CalOES mandated deadline of November 13, 2017 there is a limited amount of time left to submit a Right of Entry in order to allow this program to clear your fire damaged property. We urge impacted property owners to discuss this option with their insurance company and decide quickly so you can submit your ROE form before the deadline.
Contractors are currently in the Sulphur Fire area applying a product called Posi-Shell to help reduce erosion of fire impacted properties that could lead to possible contamination of the lake. The product is spray-on slurry that hardens to a consistency like an egg carton. The product is made of finely ground clay, reinforcing fiber, water, and Portland cement. It is non-toxic and will be removed with the debris.
The Clearlake City Council will be discussing Rights of Entry, fire debris management, and clean up deadlines during the next City Council meeting on Thursday November 9th during a Sulphur Fire Update agenda item.
Sulphur Fire Update Nov 1, 2017: DRC Operations
The Local Assistance Center (LAC) was opened on October 18th to provide information and assistance to the community and stayed open until Friday, October 27th. The LAC has transitioned to a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) staffed by various state and federal representatives. Individuals seeking assistance from FEMA, the US Small Business Administration (SBA), CalOES, DMV, State Supplemental Grant Program, Contractor Licensing, or Veteran Services can go to the DRC located at the Clearlake Community Center (Senior Center), 3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake, CA, 95422. Hours of operation are currently 9am to 7pm seven days a week.
During the week of October 23rd, teams from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) were in the area of the Sulphur Fire completing a Household Hazardous Waste Cleanup in advance of the heavy debris cleanup. Teams cleared sites of remaining household hazardous waste, such as propane tanks, compressed gas cylinders, solvents, etc.
Starting November 1st, teams contracted with the US Army Corps of Engineers will be beginning the debris removal process on properties that have authorized a Right of Entry for clean-up. To participate in the program, a “Right of Entry” form will be required to be signed by the property owner allowing the state to clean the property. Right of Entry forms and more information about the debris removal program are available on line at http://wildfirerecovery.org/debris-removal/right-of-entry/. The program is voluntary, but the requirement to promptly clean your property of debris is not.
A Lake County Housing Task Force has been established to identify housing needs for those who lost a primary residence during the Sulphur Fire. If you are in need of temporary housing, please contact Clearlake City Hall at 994-8201 so that resources can be identified to assist in housing you in the community.
According to City Manager, Greg Folsom, “It is important that people return the Right of Entry forms as soon as possible to expedite the clean-up of our city and keep contamination of the lake to a minimum. It is also very important to let us know if you have a need for intermediate housing due to the fire so that we can work with local, state, and federal agencies to provide that housing in our community.”
The City Council will discuss these and other updates at the next City Council meeting at 6pm on Thursday, November 9th at City Hall located at 14050 Olympic Drive in Clearlake.
Sulphur Fire Update: LAC Operations Extended Further
In coordination with the City of Clearlake, the County of Lake, and community, state, and national service and relief organizations, a one-stop Local Assistance Center (LAC) was opened on October 18th to provide information and assistance to the community. Since the LAC has proven to be very helpful to the community and has been heavily utilized by impacted individuals the LAC will remain open until Friday, October 27th rather than closing on Wednesday, October 25th. The LAC will be open from 9am-7:00pm, at the Clearlake Community Center (Senior Center), located at 3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake, CA, 95422.
In addition, a FEMA mobile registration vehicle has been located in Austin Park to assist with registering people into the disaster recovery system. The FEMA mobile center hours are 9am to 5pm and will be located at the park until this Friday.
As of Monday, October 23rd, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will be in the area of the Sulphur Fire completing a Household Hazardous Waste Cleanup in advance of the heavy debris cleanup. Teams will be clearing homes of any remaining household hazardous waste, such as propane tanks, compressed gas cylinders, solvents, etc.
Property owners are responsible for the heavy debris cleanup on their property and to complete this work as quickly as possible before the rainy season sets in, all are encouraged to participate in CalRecyle’s clean up program. To participate in the program, a “Right of Entry” form will be required to be signed by the property owner allowing the state to clean the property. Right of Entry forms can be picked up at the LAC.
According to City Manager, Greg Folsom, “The City of Clearlake will be sponsoring another Community Recovery Meeting on Thursday, October 26th at 5pm at Clearlake City Hall with representatives from Lake County, FEMA, CalOES, Lake County Fire, the City of Clearlake, and others to give an update on the recovery process to date and answer questions about the process going forward.”
Sulphur Fire Recovery Meeting Scheduled for Thursday
In order to keep residents impacted by the Sulphur Fire as fully informed as possible, a second Community Recovery Meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, October 26th at 5pm at Clearlake City Hall located at 14050 Olympic Drive.
Representatives from FEMA, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), Lake County, and the City of Clearlake will be there to provide updates and answer questions regarding the recovery process.
According to City Manager, Greg Folsom, “Lake County, CalOES, and FEMA have been incredible partners in helping our city deal with the recovery process. We know from the County’s experience with the Valley Fire and Clayton Fire that successful recovery depends upon citizens having an understanding of the clean-up and rebuilding process and we all are committed to helping our citizens through that process.”
Local Assistance Center Operations Extended to Wednesday
The Sulphur Fire was a federally declared disaster that damaged or destroyed 166 structures within either the City of Clearlake or the unincorporated area north of Clearlake. Due to the amount of damage and the number of people impacted, the City of Clearlake and the County of Lake partnered with community, state, and national service and relief organizations to provide a one-stop Local Assistance Center (LAC) to provide information and assistance to the community. The LAC was originally scheduled to close on Saturday, October 21st, but based on the number of people who are using the LAC on a daily basis, the LAC will remain open until Wednesday, October 25th. The LAC will be open from 9am-7:00pm, at the Clearlake Community Center (Senior Center), located at 3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake, CA, 95422.
A wide-ranging array of services and expertise is available, including food, assistance accessing medical care, or advice regarding temporary and permanent housing. If you have concerns about your animals or even insurance matters, there will be people on site at the LAC to help. If you need replacement copies of vital records, or a new driver’s license, come to the LAC. The California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and other state and federal agencies like FEMA and the Small Business Administration. Lake County Environmental Health has representatives available to assist those trying to navigate the removal of debris from their property.
According to City Manager, Greg Folsom, “The LAC has been serving over 100 individuals on a nearly daily basis and it appeared that the need was still there to continue serving the community, so in consultation with Lake County, CalOES, and FEMA, the decision was made to continue operation of the LAC until next Wednesday. Hopefully everyone who has been impacted will be able to at least make some initial contact with the LAC during that time.”
Information for Sulphur Fire Recovery
The Sulphur Fire has taken a tremendous toll, and created a great many needs in our community.
Some families are mourning the loss of homes. Some are returning to residences and finding spoiled food and other hazardous conditions. Others remain evacuated, uncertain of the extent of damage to their property.
Given the number and gravity of needs, some may be wondering where to start. Most are likely wondering what needs to address in what order.
You are not alone.
Tuesday through Saturday, October 17 through 21, the City of Clearlake and the County of Lake will partner with community, State, and national service and relief organizations to provide a one-stop Local Assistance Center (LAC) for those impacted by the Sulphur Fire. Please, rather than going it alone, come and allow this experienced team to walk alongside you.
The LAC will be open from 11:00am-7:00pm, at the Clearlake Senior Community Center, located at 3245 Bowers Ave, Clearlake, CA, 95422.
Shares City Manager, Greg Folsom, “Our goal is to assist you with recovery and rebuild and help you turn tragedy into a new beginning.”
A wide-ranging array of services and expertise will be available.
If you need food, assistance accessing medical care, or advice regarding temporary and permanent housing, come to the LAC. If you have concerns about your animals or even insurance matters, there will be people on site at the LAC to help. If you need replacement copies of vital records, or a new driver’s license, come to the LAC.
The California Office of Emergency Services, other State Agencies, and Lake County Environmental Health will even have representatives available to assist those trying to navigate the removal of debris from their property.
All of these organizations will be there to help make profoundly complicated situations a little bit easier, and offer some of the first building blocks of a successful long-term recovery.
“We are grateful and excited that such a great team will be helping Clearlake residents respond to the Sulphur Fire,” notes Clearlake City Council Member Bruno Sabatier. “Working together and taking the right steps, we will overcome this disaster, and build a rich and vibrant future.”
For more information, call Clearlake City Hall, at (707) 994-8201.
Insurance: California Department of Insurance - Assistance with filing claims
Property Taxes: Lake County Assessor-Recorder - Property tax reassessment due to misfortune or calamity
Tax Credits Franchise Tax Board - Info on deducting disaster losses
Evacuation Center: Lakeport Community Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1111 Park Way (Park Way & Hill Road) Lakeport, CA 95453 Ph: (707) 263-6002
Animal Shelters for Evacuees: Animal Control: 707-263-0278 (Large and small pets) Call and they will direct you.
Donations: The Lake Area Rotary Club Fire Relief Fund has organized fundraising for the fire victims in Clearlake: https://www.larca5130.org/
Resources: Having difficulty making local calls? Dial 1-707-number.
Nixle Alerts: Text Recipient: 888777 Message: 95422
Visit Cal Trans road closures at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/
Or call: 800-427-7623
Visit Cal Fire incident info and a fire map at www.fire.ca.gov
Download the "Cal Fire" app on your phone. You will see fire maps and can zoom in on a location down to the street level. There is also updated news on evacuation orders.
CalFire Information Line 707- 967-4207
City of Clearlake Police (non-emergency) 707-994-8251
Lake County Supervisors Contact Information:
Moke Simon District 1 707-533-9615
Jeff Smith District 2 707-272-3829
Jim Steele District 3 707-295-6198
Tina Scott District 4 707-263-2368
Rob Brown District 5 707-349-2628
City of Clearlake Town Hall meetings are available to view on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/lakecountypegtv
Salvation Army - 14420 Lakeshore Dr, Clearlake, CA 95422 (707) 995-1128
Serving food & drinks at Evacuation Shelters. Those with loss of home visit shelters to check in.
Providing food & drink supplies from office. Call first before visiting.
Local assistance services and information: http://www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/Directory/Behavioral_Health/resources.htm
Highlands Senior Center: 3245 Bowers Avenue, Clearlake offers seniors lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30-1pm, assistance with resources and completing paperwork and Meals on Wheels.
Veterans in the fire zone can get assistance with meds at the Clearlake VA office, 15145 Lakeshore Drive, 707-995-7200. A doctor is on duty to help with prescriptions.
FedEX packages for addresses within the fire zone will be held for 1 week at Clearlake Paper-Janitorial Supply, 14935 Olympic Drive, 707-995-2071.
- PSA Contractor Fraud 01-08-18
- Guide to Disaster Assistance Services.pdf
- Returning Home After A Fire - PG&E.pdf
- Demolition and Fire Damage Clean Up Requirements.pdf
- Demolition Permit Application.pdf
- Building Permit Application Worksheet.pdf
- Plan Review Submittal Guidelines.pdf
- State Debris Cleanup Assistance.pdf
- Waste Collection Services Offered for Household Hazardous Waste 10.16.17 (002).pdf
- Fire Debris Management FAQ's - Sulphur Fire 10.16.17.pdf
- FEMA Fact Sheet - Individual Assistance Program.pdf
- FEMA Fact Sheet Transitional Shelter Assistance.pdf
- FEMA Fact Sheet - Fast Facts Debris Removal Program.pdf
- FEMA Fact Sheet - Household Hazardous Waste and Debris Removal.pdf
- Security Safe Opening Assistance.pdf
- Food Safety After a Power Outage.pdf
- Safe Cleanup of Fire Ash.pdf
- Protect Your Lungs.pdf
- Cleaning Up After a Fire Diseaster.pdf
- Sewers and Fire Recovery