Cal OES Director Secures FMAG to Assist Response Agencies Battling the Lilac Fire in San Diego County

SACRAMENTO – California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci today secured a  Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress  the Lilac Fire burning in San Diego County. The FMAG also enables local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs. 

The fire started December 7 and, so far, has  burned more than 3000 acres and is  threatening 1,000 homes in and around the communities of Bonsall, San Luis Rey, Vista and Oceanside with a combined population of about 50,000. At the time of reporting, 100% of the threatened homes are primary residences. The fire is also threatening business, infrastructure, and telecommunications facilities. Mandatory evacuations are taking place for approximately 5,500 people.

Cal OES Fire and Southern Region personnel are currently responding in concert with other federal, state and local agencies to address emergency management and mutual aid needs for the incident. The recent sustained high winds have made ideal environment for dangerous fire conditions throughout the region. 

Cal Fire, San Diego County Sheriff, North County Fire, Vista Fire Department and Oceanside Fire Department are on scene working in Unified Command. Cal OES is assisting to mobilize mutual aid strike teams and firefighters that may include fire engines, dozers, water tenders and aircraft.

Cal OES Fire, Law Enforcement and Southern Region personnel are currently working with other response agencies to address all emergency management, law enforcement, evacuation and mutual aid needs for the incident.  The Cal OES Southern Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) has also been activated to support emergency management operations.

The federal Fire Management Assistance Grant, which is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund on cost-share basis, will assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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