Federal Dollars Approved to Assist CAL FIRE with Camp, Hill and Woolsey Wildfires

Recovery continues for California communities impacted by the Camp, Hill and Woolsey wildfires, which all started November 8, 2018. FEMA has now approved $76,755,681 to reimburse the State for emergency protective measures performed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire (CAL FIRE) for costs associated with battling last November’s wildfires under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. This brings the total amount of federal assistance to more than $163 million; additional projects will continue to be funded.

FEMA funds will be used to reimburse the department for such endeavors as firefighting, traffic control (barricading), search and rescue, air attack fire suppression, and operating a mobile communications center during the three wildfires which started November 8, 2018 in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

The grant is funded by FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, an essential source of funding for communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) works with FEMA during all phases of the program and conducts final reviews of FEMA-approved projects

Applicants work directly with FEMA to develop projects and scope of work. FEMA obligates funding for the project after its final approval.

Once a project is obligated by FEMA, Cal OES works closely with the applicant to finalize the grant and begin making payments. Cal OES has implemented new procedures designed to ensure grant funding is provided to local communities as quickly as possible.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides grants to state, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of private non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

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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