Governor Secures FMAG to Assist Response Agencies Battling the Maria Fire in Ventura County

SACRAMENTO –  Governor Gavin Newsom 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 Maria Fire burning in Ventura County. The FMAG also enables local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs.

The fire started on October 31, 2019, and, so far, has burned in excess of 9,800 acres of state and private land and is threatening 1,800 residences in and around the communities of Santa Paula, Somis, and Saticoy. The fire is also threatening 100 businesses, active oil and natural gas fields, a Shell oil pipeline, and the primary communications network for the threatened communities.

Mandatory evacuations are underway for 7,500 people.

Cal OES Fire and Rescue 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, and the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued Red Flag Warnings for the area. 

Cal OES Fire and Rescue, 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 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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