$114 million granted for wildfire damages

$114 million granted for wildfire damages

22  December 2007

published by www.nctimes.com

SAN DIEGO – More than $110 million in federal and state disaster assistancehas been granted for wildfire damages throughout the Southland, according to aFederal Emergency Management Agency report.

With the approval of a $41.4 million public assistance grant to the Departmentof Forestry and Fire Protection, recovery assistance for damages and losses inLos Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara andVentura counties now totals $114 million, officials said.

The federal agency is providing 75 percent – $30.1 million – of the grant forCalFire, and the rest of the funding is set to come from the state, according tothe report.

The CalFire grant reimburses the state for regular employee overtime,equipment use and rental costs, contract labor, aircraft use, materials andsimilar costs incurred by other firefighting agencies that assisted during theOctober wildfires.

According to the agency’s report, 18,605 Californians have registered for stateand federal disaster assistance. Another 14,960 federal agency registrants havevisited assistance centers seeking disaster recovery help, and 8,139 agencyinspections have been completed in disaster-designated counties.

Disaster assistance doled out to date includes:

– $59 million in U.S. Small Business Administration loans to homeowners, rentersand business owners

– $8.5 million in federal housing assistance grants for rental expenses, homerepair or replacements

– $3.4 million from federal and state agencies for losses and damage to personalproperty, vehicular repair or replacement, moving expenses and otherdisaster-related costs

– $1.7 million in approved supplemental grants from the state’s Department ofSocial Services for those who have received the maximum grants for housing andother needs from federal and state agencies

– $106, 399 in federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance funds disbursed by thestate Employment Development Department to individuals unemployed by thewildfires.

The deadline to apply for federal and state disaster assistance is Jan. 9, 2008.

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