California Secures Federal Assistance to Support Response to Maria Fire in Ventura County

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) California Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that the state has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of resources to fight the Maria Fire in Ventura County.

“Our first responders continue to work around the clock to ensure the safety of Californians across the state as we battle these fires, and I am thankful to have the support of the federal government to ensure we have more resources as we remain vigilant during this active fire season,” said Governor Newsom.

The FMAG will assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.  As of today, the Maria Fire was threatening some 1,800 residences in and around the communities of Santa Paula, Somis, and Saticoy.

The Governor has declared a statewide emergency due to the dangerous weather conditions and secured FMAGs to bolster the response to the Hillside Fire, 46 Fire, Hill Fire, Easy Fire, Getty Fire, and the Kincade and Tick fires – for which he previously declared a state of emergency in Sonoma and Los Angeles counties.

The Governor this week launched a new resource site, RESPONSE.CA.GOV, which serves as a one-stop portal for resources available to Californians impacted by wildfires and power shutoffs, and highlighted community and business partnerships supporting impacted residents across the state.  In recent days, the Governor met with emergency responders, volunteers, health officials, residents and state and local leaders in American Canyon, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Napa and Geyserville, and held briefings regarding the ongoing fire threats and the need to hold utilities accountable for the consequences of their power shutoff decisions.

The Governor has also announced appointments to the California Wildfire Safety Advisory Board, California Catastrophe Response Council, and the Wildfire Safety Division at the California Public Utilities Commission, as outlined in wildfire safety and accountability legislation he signed in July.

Governor Newsom has called on the California Public Utilities Commission to reform power shutoff rules and regulations as part of its investigation into the utility-led shutoffs.  He has also announced a $75 million program for state and local governments to mitigate the impacts of power shutoffs and unveiled a series of new partnerships and new tools to help secure medically vulnerable populations during these events.