California wildfire victims say cleanup crews add to woes

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ first experience cleaning up after a wildfire has turned into a bureaucratic mess, and California’s top emergency official suspects fraud played a role.

California Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci complained to the Army that contractors it paid by the ton to clear debris took too much dirt and damaged or removed perfectly fine driveways, retaining walls and the like after the 2017 wine country fire that destroyed thousands of homes.

About 1,000 homeowners complained that cleanup crews damaged their property. Ghilarducci told the Army in August that his agency spent millions fixing the problems.

Ghilarducci said in the August letter it’s probable some contractors purposely took too much dirt for bigger payments.

Corps spokesman Mike Petersen says no evidence of fraud has been reported. He says the Federal Emergency Management Agency is still preparing a response to Ghilarducci’s letter.

Associated Press

Associated Press

More News

STORMTRACKER 18 WEATHER
Osseo
43°
Menomonie
42°
Chetek
43°
Durand
Ladysmith
43°
Neillsville
41°
Rice Lake
42°
New Richmond
43°
Black River Falls
44°
Medford
38°
River Falls
Duluth
37°
Green Bay
45°
La Crosse
48°
Madison
47°
Milwaukee
50°
Twin Cities
48°
Weather Outlook: Snow and cold temperatures return this weekend

Weather Outlook: Snow and cold temperatures return this weekend

Find out when snow is likely, and when subfreezing temperatures return to western Wisconsin

Connect With WQOW
Top Stories

Sex offender faces new charges in Eau Claire

A convicted sex offender living in Eau Claire is charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a

UPDATE: Middleton shooter was employee of business where he opened fire

The Middlelton Police department sent a phone message to residents about an active shooter.

UPDATE: 4 from Loyal, including 3 kids, killed in Apostle Island kayak incident

Sheriff Michael Brennan said Erik Fryman, 39, and his kids 3, 6 and 9-years-old died. The mom, Cari Mews, 29,

NEW: Missing Mondovi man found dead Wednesday afternoon

According to Mondovi Police Chief Colin Severson, the department is looking or Nathan D. Kummer who was reported missing by

UPDATE: Gas leak contained in Boyd

Boyd's fire chief told News 18 crews were digging up a leaking water line at Double D's Saloon and workers

Scroll to top
Skip to content