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EPA News Advisory: Northern California Wildfire Response Update - 10/20/17

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to expand operations in Napa and Sonoma Counties, including assessment, removal and disposal of oil and hazardous materials, as part of the ongoing interagency response to multiple wildfires in Northern California.

These efforts will reduce potential threats to public health and safety and allow other agencies to remove solid waste, debris and ash in the affected areas. EPA’s work is initiated under a FEMA-issued federal disaster declaration mission assignment for wildfire operations and recovery.

In coming weeks, EPA will develop staging areas for the Sonoma County and Napa County cleanups and will seek access agreements for property where EPA will be working. EPA’s response will include removal, consolidation and disposal of hazardous materials from fire-affected areas.

EPA’s response activities also include the following:

  • Coordinating and implementing Emergency Support Function 10 (Oil and Hazardous Materials) operations as part of FEMA’s Initial Operating Facility (IOF). The IOF is operating out of the State Operations Center in Mather.
  • Assisting Sonoma County and California agencies in cleanup operations for a tire fire that had occurred near Highway 37/Lakeville Highway. Cleanup work includes removing contaminated soil and stabilizing the creek bed. 
  • Coordinating the safe removal, transport and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous debris with California agencies, FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Meeting with tribes that have expressed interest in cleanup efforts.
  • Working with California and tribal governments to track the status of more than 150 public drinking water systems, some of which have been damaged, destroyed or otherwise affected by the fires.


Multiple wildfires began burning on October 8 in Napa and Sonoma Counties. EPA is coordinating with federal, state and local agencies, including FEMA and the California Environmental Protection Agency, on response operations. 

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