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October 9, 2018

Did contractors defraud California wildfire victims?

  • Companies were paid by the ton to haul away debris. Homeowners say some contractors took driveways and retaining walls that were perfectly fine.
    Associated Press

    SANTA ROSA, Calif. — One year after a devastating series of wildfires ripped through Northern California wine country, destroying thousands of homes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' first experience cleaning up after a wildfire has turned into an expensive bureaucratic mess and California's top emergency official suspects fraud played a role.

    In October 2017, state and local officials lacked the resources to quickly clear still-smoldering and toxic debris from 4,500 homes destroyed by a wildfire in and near Santa Rosa. So the Army was called in.

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