January 29, 2016 Four Months Later
Just four months after the devastating wildfires ravaged Lake County, community members are planning the next phase of recovery. Their determination to rebuild is supported by government, private and nonprofit resources.
Earlier in January, Senator Mike McGuire announced that the new California state budget will include two provisions specifically for Lake County. The state will make available $1.3 million to cover lost property, sales and bed tax revenue for the county. Additionally, the South Lake County Fire Protection District will receive $2.2 million to continue their work providing fire services to residents.
The announcement preceded preliminary insurance estimates that the Butte and Valley Fires caused $1 billion in insured losses. This staggering figure excludes uninsured property loss, and damage to roads and utilities.
The Los Angeles Times reports that half of the over 5,000 claims have been paid out.
After providing crucial emergency response services, the American Red Cross focused on connecting fire victims with essential connections to government, private insurance, and social service organizations to provide a holistic support system. Their own staff, caseworkers trained specifically for emergency response, work to develop recovery plans, therapeutic support networks and ensure that basic needs are met during and after the initial emergency.
In December, the Red Cross partnered with other local nonprofits and volunteers to combat erosion and environmental contamination caused by toxic ash.