In fall 2015, survivors of the Valley Fire authorized the County or its designee to enter their properties and remove structural and tree debris that presented a health and safety hazard to the general public.
The program completed burn debris clearance on nearly 1,700 properties, most by CalRecycle.
Debris was cleared in exchange for the property owner’s promise to pay whatever amount was ultimately reimbursed under their insurance policy.
CalRecycle recently provided invoicing information, and the County is now required to collect funds to reimburse the State.
“After a long wait, we realize this is an unwelcome task and a bitter reminder of the losses Valley Fire survivors have endured. However, cooperation is essential for the County to discharge its obligations to the State, a critical step in the County’s ongoing recovery from disaster,” notes Carol Huchingson, Valley Fire Recovery Coordinator and County Administrative Officer.
In July, three Valley Fire Recovery Task Force Meetings will be held in impacted areas. Rob Brown, District 5 Supervisor, who was very active in Valley Fire Recovery, explains, “The Task Force Meetings we held earlier on in our recovery were a vital means of communication with survivors. Now that the time has come to collect on insurance, we are returning to that same approach.”
Here are the details:
Monday, July 10, 6pm, Coyote Valley Elementary School for those who lost homes in Hidden Valley Lake
Monday, July 17, 6pm, Twin Pines Casino Event Center for those who lost homes in Middletown and Anderson Springs.
Monday, July 31, 6pm, Cobb Elementary School for those who lost homes in Cobb.
At each meeting, packets will be distributed containing all information needed for property owners to pay their personal obligation. Each packet will include a form authorizing the property owner’s insurance company to release information directly to the County, in the event this becomes necessary. County Supervisors Moke Simon, District 1, and Rob Brown, District 5, County Administrative Officer Carol J. Huchingson and County staff will be available to answer questions and respond to concerns.
Property owners who prefer pay at the meeting can bring a check and a copy of the settlement statement from their insurance company detailing the amounts reimbursed for structure debris and/or tree debris removal.
Some may already know the amount their insurance company reimbursed. The County is accepting payments now. Property owners are welcome to mail their settlement statement and check in the appropriate amount to:
County of Lake Administrative Office
ATTN: Valley Fire Recovery
255 North Forbes St.
Lakeport, CA 95453
Please note, all Valley Fire survivors who received services from the County or its designee must complete and sign the insurance authorization form.
For any survivor who is not able to attend the Task Force meeting in his or her area, packets will be sent out via postal mail the next working day.
“We know how devastating the Valley Fire was to so many families, and we appreciate your working with us now, to ensure our whole community can heal. That includes meeting obligations to the State and County programs for the services they provided,” shares District 1 Supervisor Moke Simon.
For more information, contact the County of Lake Administrative Office at (707) 263-2580.
The Task Force is a partnership of local, state and community representatives working together to provide comprehensive services to aid in the recovery of Clayton Fire survivors and the rebuilding of Lower Lake. Meetings provide an opportunity for fire survivors to share their concerns and ask questions of members of the Task Force.