Forest Fire

Wildfire disaster declaration includes multiple counties

Auburn, Calif.- Last night, Placer County was one of the four California counties included in a wildfire disaster declaration approved by President Joe Biden. This action brings much needed financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to people affected by the River Fire.

“This declaration is a lifeline for our residents,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “While there have been many local, state and community resources made available for those affected by the River Fire, this federal disaster designation will ensure we have all avenues of support available to them on their road to recovery.”

The approval comes just two days after it was requested by Governor Newsom and was limited to four counties impacted by the River and Dixie Fires. Placer and Nevada were both included as a result of the River Fire and Lassen and Plumas counties for impacts from the Dixie Fire.

Individual and Public Assistance

forest fire

All four counties were approved for both individual and public assistance. FEMA’s individual assistance program provides grants and other support programs to help eligible survivors that may include rent, home repair, home replacement, and other disaster-related needs such as childcare, medical, and dental expenses.

Under the declaration, the listed counties, along with their cities and special districts, will all be eligible for public assistance, which covers qualified emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure.

Additionally, the declaration includes statewide eligibility for hazard mitigation grants that can be used to cover actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards such as wildfires.

The Placer County Office of Emergency Services recently completed an update to the county-wide Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. This was done in coordination with the six cities and the multitude of special districts in the county. The LHMP includes specific projects that address one or more of the high priority hazards, wildfire being one, identified as part of the plan development process that included multiple opportunities for public input.

Applying for Disaster Assistance

Residents can apply for federal disaster assistance with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov; by downloading the FEMA app to a smartphone or tablet; or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) between 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Pacific.

This funding will be in addition to resources made available through FEMA’s Fire Management Assistance Grant, approved Aug. 4, which covers the costs of fire suppression and other response efforts during the River Fire.

To learn more about all recovery resources available for Placer County residents affected by the River Fire visit placer.ca.gov/FireRecovery.