California’s 2020 Wildfire Debris Management Program


HomeCalifornia’s 2020 Wildfire Debris Management Program

About the project

The Tidal Basin team was recently tasked by CalRecycle with providing professional structural debris and public right-of-way hazard tree removal assessment, tracking, management, and financial support. This project encompassed the structural debris and hazard tree removal of *five counties, inclusive of the Inland Branch 2020 wildfires. This area covered counties of Sonoma, Solano, Napa, Yolo, and Mendocino, with a small portion of Lake County.

*Tribal Entities

Key takeaways

  • Prime Contractor: Tidal Basin
  • Project Dates: November 2020 – May 2022


Challenges we overcame during this mission included coordinating the operation during
a global pandemic and dangerous terrain. Emphasizing our ability to perform at the onset of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic, Tidal Basin maintained an aggressive approach
for compliance despite constantly changing CDC and WHO guidance, which resulted in successfully completing the project with no significant disruption to field activities.

Our Team surpassed another challenging experience, which was presented due to the arduous terrain and water crossings that
make up parts of the landscape within the Inland Branch. As a result of this landscape, our successful resolution was the decision to use a helicopter in some areas for hazardous tree identification and removal. This required extensive coordination for development of a helicopter safety plan, hazardous tree removal process, and an intense employee training course for the removal of more than 3,000 trees from such areas.


Tidal Basin’s Team was responsible for the health and safety of its workforce and compliance with CalOSHA and OSHA requirements. Our Team successfully performed monitoring and oversight services connected to the removal of hazardous trees including the supervision of arborists and the provision of crew leaders trained to identify eligible trees for removal under the program’s requirements and specifications. Our management and oversight included the monitoring and recording of
all data associated to the identification, site assessment, removal, and disposal of all eligible debris and hazardous trees by Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN).

Resilience Delivered

Our team successfully provided professional structural debris and public right-of-way hazard tree removal assessment:

  • Tracking, management, and financial support
  • Structural debris and hazard tree removal of five counties

We liaised with the following tribes on the Inland Branch 2020 Fires team:

  • Cloverdale Rancheria of Pomo Indians
  • Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria
  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
  • • Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Your knowledge of the complex governmental regulations and equally complex insurance and adjusting issues really helped the county maximize the public assistance that was available after all of these disasters. You delivered what you promised, and we are confident in your ability and the ability of your firm to provide these services fully on a technical and professional level yet be able to translate clearly and concisely the intricate and sometimes subjective FEMA regulations which we could not have done without you.

The State of Alaska…[has] a significant investment in the disaster recovery process for both state and federally declared events…. The collaboration with Tidal Basin in these efforts has been so successful and seamless that in most instances applicants and FEMA staff don’t even realize we have contractors on board unless we tell them. Our interaction with Tidal Basin staff and managers works and feels like true teammates and the result is a faster, more comprehensive delivery of disaster recovery resources to survivors.

Months after the storm passed, the County was still faced with tremendous burdens related to the insurance coverage issues and FEMA and MEMA eligibility issues. Jackson County hired your organization to provide professional services for disaster assistance, remediation, restoration and recovery efforts….Their expertise with governmental regulations, the complex FEMA process and insurance adjustments resulted in our successful claim for over $2 million in additional FEMA Public Assistance funding specifically; in our successful negotiations with our insurance carrier; and in numerous other increases in the values FEMA and MEMA initially designated for County projects. Jackson County will always be mindful of the help we received from you when we needed it most.