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Butte Fire Debris Removal Nearly Complete

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Retired high school teacher Jon Kramer is rebuilding the Mokelumne Hill home he lost in the Butte Fire. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Six months after the Butte Fire burned more than 70,000 acres in Calaveras County, ash and debris removal efforts are almost finished.

The state says only 11 sites remain to be cleared of the 831 county properties registered for the cleanup.

Jon Kramer lost his home on Mokelumne Hill and says he's frustrated he's had to live in a trailer for so long.

"It took months before they came and started cleaning, he told Capital Public Radio this week. "I mean, here we are – it was just the ninth of this month, you know, six months, and we’ve been living in a fifth wheel."

But Calaveras County's Jason Boetzer says it's been hard to get trucks down tight roads in heavy rains.

"It’s been a big effort and a big task," Boetzer says. "But to me, it’s a success that we’re six months after the Butte Fire, and we’re complete with the debris removal operations."

The final 11 registered lots have been inaccessible due to weather and are expected to be cleaned up later this spring.

 butte fire

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

Andrew Nixon

Multimedia Producer

Multimedia Producer Andrew Nixon illustrates CapRadio’s Web content with visual journalism including still photos and videos. He works in the news and information department, and on CapRadio’s documentary program, “The View From Here.”  Read Full Bio