YUBA COUNTY -- Wearing white hazmat suits, contractors, under the supervision of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, are nearly finished inspecting the 180 properties with homes and structures that were destroyed in the Cascade Fire in the beginning of October.
Crews have spent the last couple weeks in Nevada and Yuba counties inspecting homes for asbestos and other toxic materials that may remain on the property after homes burned to the ground.
Supervising scientist Adam Palmer with the Department of Toxic Substances Control says they expect to have the work finished by Friday.
Once finished, state and federal agencies can begin Phase 2, in which the debris on these properties are removed and the soil is tested for toxins.
Cal Recycle will head up that job in Yuba County, according to Palmer.
Across Northern California, 6,500 properties will need to be inspected and have debris removed and the soil tested -- the work is expected to take months.
Phase 2 is part of a program victims can sign up for but do not have to participate in, if they choose to participate in it, it is free to them with the exception of forwarding the reimbursement from their insurance for debris pick up to their local county.