USA The U.S. Labor Department has awarded $4 million in incremental funding to continue cleanup and recovery efforts after California’s damaging 2015 wildfires, including the Butte and Valley wildfires that year. The money comes by way of a National Dislocated Worker Grant; the initial amount approved was $11 million, and DOL initially released $2 million of it.
That initial release came on Oct. 23, 2015, to provide disaster relief employment after the Valley and Butte fires, which began in September 2015. That year’s wildfire season was especially bad: The National Interagency Fire Center reports there were 60,984 fires that burned 9,937,863 acres in all, the most acreage consumed by wildfires during the 2006-2016 decade. The annual averages during that period were 71,594 fires and 6,975,668 acres burned, according to NIFC, which is located in Boise, Idaho, and coordinates national fire planning and operations for several federal agencies.
DOL on Aug. 22, 2016, awarded a second increment of $2 million for the continuation of disaster relief employment, so the grand total with the new incremental award is $8 million so far to the California Employment Development Department. Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events which cause significant job losses.