WEED, Siskiyou County (KPIX 5) — One month ago, the Boles Fire tore through the town of Weed in Siskiyou County, wiping out almost 200 homes in a matter of hours. Today, the cleanup is in high gear.
“Yeah, per capita, this was an immense disaster for this community,” said Todd Thalhamer, operations chief of CalRecycle.
An immense disaster, that requires a small army for the cleanup. “They’re working six days a week – 12 hours a day,” Thalhamer said.
The whole job is unfolding with military precision. Every scorched lot has been numbered, and by November, each one will be a clean slate.
“It’s a system. We take out the asbestos, and contaminated pipes, take that away. Then we get the concrete and recycle that. Then we separate the metal and recycle that. Then we scrape the entire lot. That’s the key, the entire lot gets scraped,” Thalhamer said.
Yes, someone actually takes out a rake, and levels the ground.
“Last couple of steps here, we have to take out the dead trees, do erosion control, then turn it back over to the city and the homeowner for rebuilding,” Thalhamer said.
This part of California is well known for its dislike of most things government. But the locals are impressed with what they’re seeing.
“I know we give the feds and the government a hard time, but they’re doing an excellent job of cleaning up,” said local resident Alexandra Arnett.