Update: 4:58 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 - Butte, Plumas, and Yuba Counties will receive federal support for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
Individuals can register with FEMA the following ways:
• Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
• Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
Butte County is the ninth county to receive federal approval for individual assistance, joining Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo as previously approved counties. The addition of Butte allows the county to be designated for individual assistance and assistance for debris removal.
Previously, Butte County had been designated for emergency protective measures including direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance Program. Additionally, San Mateo County has been designated for debris removal and permanent work and Monterey, Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties received designation for permanent work.
FEMA’s individual assistance program provides grants to help eligible survivors with financial assistance that may include rent, home repair, home replacement and other disaster-related needs such as childcare, medical and dental expenses.
Updated 3:02 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 - It was been confirmed by a member of District 1 Congressmember Doug LaMalfa's staff that California's governor officially requested assistance for individuals who have lost homes in Butte County during the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex West Zone. The request was approved immediately by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
As soon as we have more details on the FEMA disaster designation, we will provide them in this story.
KHSL – Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties have been designated to receive federal assistance from FEMA in response to the ongoing state wildfires. Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Butte County today to survey the damage from the fires.
In total, 10 California counties have been designated for public assistance as part of the major disaster declaration.
On August 22, 2020, President Donald J. Trump granted a Major Disaster Declaration for California due to multiple massive wildfires burning throughout Northern California amid an unrelenting heatwave. That disaster declaration was amended on September 5 to designate Lake, Monterey, Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties for public assistance with eligible debris removal projects and again on September 10 to add Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties for assistance with emergency protective measures.
As of Sept. 11, the North Complex fire has burned over 250,000 acres across Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties.
The willow fire, also burning in Yuba County, has consumed 1,311 acres and is 25% contained.
A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for support including crisis counseling, housing and unemployment assistance and legal services. It also provides federal assistance to help state, tribal and local governments fund emergency response, recovery and protective measures.
Eligible applicants for FEMA Public Assistance funds include state, county and local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, and some private non-profits such as educational and medical facilities. Typically, FEMA provides 75 percent of the cost of eligible projects. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Newsom last month announced that the state would hire 858 more firefighters and six California Conservation Corps (CCC) crews through October to bolster firefighting support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past year and a half, California has taken major action and made critical investments to fortify wildfire preparedness and response capabilities. CAL FIRE completed the last of its 35 emergency fuels management projects in May, making 90,000 acres safer ahead of wildfire season and protecting 200 vulnerable communities.