On Tuesday, January 2, President Donald Trump approved a California Disaster Declaration according to a White House Briefing. Areas of Southern California that suffered extreme loss during the recent fires including the Thomas fire which according to a CAL FIRE update destroyed 1,630 structures and burned over 281,000 acres (the largest fire in California’s history) will be eligible to receive federal assistance.
According to the brief, “Federal funding is available to the State and to eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura.” What is unique about this declaration is that has also stated that funding will also be available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation projects statewide. William Roach has been named by Brock Long, FEMA Administrator, as the coordinating officer for Federal Recovery efforts in California.
Additional areas and counties may be included in this declaration as ongoing damage assessments are completed.