JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- The Environmental Protection Agency began the first of two phases for cleaning up the aftermath of the Almeda Fire.
The first phase is removing hazardous waste from impacted properties. This includes products like paint, batteries and pressurized tanks.
The second step is removing ash and debris.
EPA Incident Commander Randy Nattis says they don't expect to run into any local air quality issues throughout this process.
"What we find in the field will be carefully sorted, stabilized and safely packaged for transfer to our staging area," Nattis said. "It will remain there temporarily until we can further sort it, bulk it, containerize it and stabilize it for transportation and disposal at a licensed facility."
The hazardous removal process won't cost property owners anything.
EPA cleanup teams plan to be at each property for no more than a few hours.
"It's just worthwhile to recognize that even when we're done, the ash and various materials on site are still hazardous to people's health and they should be very careful sorting through that material," Nattis said.
Before the cleanup can begin, Jackson County needs your right of entry form.
“So we can start rebuilding our communities and get back to the life that we love," said John Vial, director of Jackson County Roads.