State approves Valley Fire relief funds

California officials have approved reimbursement funding of nearly $ 494,000 to help San Diego County cover the cost of debris removal and other programs in the wake of the Valley Fire. last year.

The total represents about 75 percent of the $ 658,600 San Diego County spent to clear debris and operate its consolidated trash program after the fire, which began in September last year in the Japatul Valley. , southeast of Alpine, and burned over 17,000 acres. damage or destroy dozens of homes, buildings and other structures.

In a press release Monday, Ryan Buras, deputy director of recovery for the California governor’s office of emergency services – or Cal OES – said the funding was intended to ease the burden of the fire and other programs. who help those affected by the fire.

“Helping cities and counties reduce the financial burden that responding to major forest fires and other disasters places on their budgets is a top priority for Cal OES,” said Buras. “We hope the nearly $ 500,000 in reimbursements, combined with reimbursements provided earlier this year, will help ease that burden and speed up recovery efforts in the county.”

In August, the county received $ 21,700 in reimbursements to help cover the costs of running a local assistance center, which provides government services to residents who have been affected by the wildfires.

The funds also helped pay for the removal and replacement of five road signs damaged by the valley fire.

San Diego County received funding under the California Disaster Assistance Act, which authorizes the director of Cal OES to provide financial assistance for costs incurred as a result of a disaster, such as wildfires.

Repairs, restoration or replacement of public property damaged or destroyed during disasters are all eligible for reimbursement when a state of emergency is declared.

Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency over the Valley fire in September 2020.

A bushfire encroaches along Japatul Road during the Jamul Valley fire in California on September 6, 2020.

(Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images)

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