USA — Trinity County, devastated by a smoky summer resulting from hundreds of north state wildfires, will get $2 million to help pay for some of its losses.
Recently, the county’s Board of Supervisors learned it will receive the money from the 2008 Disaster Recovery Initiative, which reimburses counties with federal money if an official disaster is declared.
Rachel Allen, the Trinity County project specialist, said the county applied for funds to be reimbursed for damage caused to power lines, housing rehabilitation and roads damaged during the summer 2008 fires.
The funds also include assistance for tourism-dependent businesses that had struggled in the smoky weather, she said.
“It was called the summer of smoke,” Allen said.
In June 2008, a freak lightning storm spawned thousands of strikes, sparking hundreds of fires. They eventually burned 190,000 acres in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest alone, and nearly 1 million acres north of Sacramento. Trinity County was hit particularly hard.
The smoke was so thick some days you couldn’t see across the street in downtown Weaverville. Numerous residents complained they had health problems long after the smoke cleared.
Allen said the state is expected to release the money by early or mid-spring.
Allen said the county also is hoping to apply for some of the $15 million in other federal grants recently made available to help the county’s hospital buy new clean air filters as well as make upgrades to the area’s hydrant and water-storage systems.
Trinity County was one of 12 California cities, counties or Indian tribes to receive a portion of the $13.7 million in 2008 disaster funds.
Shasta County also received $150,000 to complete two studies, one for the Cottonwood Fire Protection District and the other for a Cottonwood-area sewer district, said Richard Kuhns, Shasta County’s director of housing and community action programs.
Shasta Lake received an identical amount for similar planning programs, officials said.