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Niland Cleanup Will Begin This Week

-Editorial

On Monday, August 3rd, Imperial County Board Chairman of the Board and District 2 Supervisor, Luis A. Plancarte, will be joined by District 4 Supervisor, Ryan E. Kelley, and representatives from California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), EFR Environmental Services, Team Rubicon and Republic Waste Services to launch clean-up efforts of the damage caused by the Niland Fire that occurred on June 28, 2020 in the township of Niland.

Cal OES has assisted by coordinating efforts with the County of Imperial and outside agencies to adhere to the proper debris management guidelines.  EFR Environmental Services has assisted with Asbestos Testing, Asbestos Mitigation, and Household Hazardous Waste Removal.  Team Rubicon will be removing all of the debris from the properties and clearing them for the families to be able to rebuild.  Republic is working with the team to provide waste bins and hauling of the debris to landfills.

The Niland Fire started as a brush fire on the eve of Sunday, June 28, 2020, was carried through Niland with high winds and the fire destroyed several structures and multiple families homeless.  Following the incident, the County of Imperial established a Local Assistance Center, in partnership with local agencies and nonprofit organizations, to provide direct services, including vouchers, social services, document replacement assistance, and access to health care, to all those impacted by the fire.

Additionally, the County of Imperial secured longer-term, temporary housing for the displaced families with travel trailers while assisting the families with finding or rebuilding permanent housing

Imperial County has secured 33 travel trailers from the state to provide longer-term housing.

The trailers are the latest step to help the fire victims. Earlier this month, the County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency as a result of the fire and approved $100,000 in aid to the families.

County Supervisors Chairman Luis Plancarte said the goal has been to provide support to the residents of Niland as quickly as possible.

“I think the support the county staff and the board has provided to the residents is unprecedented,” Plancarte said. “This is about providing solutions and help very quickly. We’ve been able to streamline the aid program, and that’s because everyone has come together to support the residents.”

“Ever since the fire displaced families, the county has focused efforts on securing housing,” said Deputy County Executive Officer Esperanza Colio. “The first step was to provide vouchers for temporary housing in hotels, but the vouchers—known as rapid housing—were just the first stage of an ongoing effort to provide longer-term housing.”

The travel trailers will remain at the sites for likely the next two to three months while each family’s property in Niland is cleared of the fire damage and utility connections are restored. Once the land can once again support housing, the travel trailers will be moved to each family’s property.

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