GLENDORA (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles County Public Works crews Tuesday were removing debris from fire scarred areas in preparation for a storm forecasted to hit at the end of the week.

As much as 45,000 cubic yards of rocks, mud and sediment were being removed between 6 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from debris basins in the foothills of Glendora.

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The cleanup is an effort to protect communities downstream of the Englewild, Harrow, Hook East and Hook West debris basins.

“If this particular structure wasn’t here, this debris would be inundating the communities that are below us,” Bob Spencer, from LA County Public Works, said.

Officials say the basins, which are about the size of a soccer field, catch a lot of debris, so they want to make sure they are cleared out.

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“The hillsides are very deluded, which means that the storm water can pick up material and bring it down very quickly,” Spencer said.

Residents will also be provided sandbags prior to the storm, which is expected to hit Southern California late Thursday into Friday.

“It’s very loud, but I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Glendora resident Kelly Van Beek said. “I’d rather them do as much as they can to protect us.”

Once the debris is removed, the material will be transported to sediment placement sites in Irwindale.

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The entire cleanout operation is expected to take three to four weeks to complete.