California secures federal aid to support French fire response in Kern County

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SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that California has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the French fire in Kern County.

To date, the French Fire has burned 20,678 acres, threatening homes in and around Wofford Heights and Kernville.

The FMAG, which is provided by the Presidential Disaster Relief Fund on a cost-sharing basis, will allow local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to claim reimbursement of 75% of their costs of eligible fire extinguishing. The program, which is administered by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), provides rapid financial assistance to communities affected by the fires.

Governor Newsom announced yesterday that the White House has approved California’s request for a presidential declaration in the event of a major disaster, including supports available to residents affected by the wildfires and assistance to state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs. California also recently obtained FMAGs to support the state’s response to the Dixie fire in Lassen, Butte and Plumas counties and the response to the Caldor fire, monument fire, l river fire and lava fire.

Governor Newsom has activated the State Operations Center to its highest level and declared a state of emergency in the counties affected by the fires of Caldor Fire, McFarland and Monument, Antelope and River, Dixie, Fly and Tamarack and Lava Fire and Beckwourth Complex Fire. The governor signed an executive order to support affected communities and strengthen forest firefighting and recovery efforts. CAL FIRE and Cal OES staff work with other federal, state and local agencies to meet emergency management and fire support needs.

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