Insurance Woes in Lake County Point to Delays, Frustrations in Latest Fires

Nov 27, 2017

Senior Airman Martin Baglien stands in front of the home he lost in Santa Rosa. Trucks are hauling debris, insurance adjusters are at work, and the community is beginning the long road to recovery
Credit U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Phelps

As trucks continue to haul away the remains of homes burned in the North Bay fires, homeowners are beginning to deal with the next big step in recovery – claiming their insurance. KQED’s Sukey Lewis talked with homeowners, insurers and state officials. She started in Lake County, where the Valley Fire destroyed homes in 2015 and some residents are still fighting to get their payouts.

See the original story at The California Report.

This report is part of our continuing project to share news of the fire and recovery with KQED’s California Report.

Meanwhile, Sonoma County landfills are filling up. The Press Democrat reports that each destroyed home will account for about 200 tons of ash and debris – half of which will head for local landfills.

"It’s a little bit of a moving target," Trish Pisenti, the county’s integrated waste division manager told the P-D. "That’s very ballpark, but we’re projecting approximately 1 million tons of debris — half recycled and half to the landfill."

It’s expected that this influx will cause the county to open up what they call new landfill “cells” much sooner than was otherwise anticipated.

"It’s still better to have it local than to truck it elsewhere," Supervisor David Rabbit told the Press Democrat. "[That] would cost more, add a bit more greenhouse gas emissions and take longer," he said.