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California Wildfires (DR-4407)

Incident Period: November 08, 2018 - November 25, 2018
Major Disaster Declaration declared on November 12, 2018

Individual Assistance Applications
Approved: 6,646

Total Individual & Households Program
Dollars Approved: $48,780,241.37

Designated Counties (Individual Assistance):

Butte, Los Angeles, Ventura

How to Apply for Assistance

Survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties with disaster-related losses can apply for disaster assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800- 621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time (PST) seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

 800-621-3362 (711/Video Relay Service), 800-462-7585 (TTY). In person at one of our Disaster Recovery Centers.

Disaster assistance is not a substitute for an insurance payout. It can help you make essential repairs to your home to make it safe, sanitary, functional and accessible.


FEMA disaster assistance cannot make you whole but may help you begin the recovery process.


Remember: FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.


You could be eligible for rental assistance or home repairs if the home you live in for more than half of the year was damaged and is:

  • Unsafe to stay in (master bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom damaged)
  • Does not have power or water
  • You cannot get to it safely

You may also be eligible for other forms of assistance, fema.gov/individual-disaster-assistance


Contact FEMA again if you have any updates or changes to your application for disaster assistance, including access to your primary home, utility service, and current location. Visit disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 to update your application.


PLEASE NOTE: Registration for federal assistance closes Thursday, January 31, 2019.

Small Business Administration

Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation. The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury. While homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence, and homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property.

SBA offers low-interest working capital loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, to small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.

Apply online using SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or in person at any Disaster Recovery Center. For additional information about the SBA, call 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.

Disaster Recovery Centers

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA have opened five Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties. The U.S. Small Business Administration is co-located in the same facility.

The DRC offers information concerning resources available to homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage as a result of the ongoing California wildfires.


Chico DRC

Former Sears Store, Chico Mall

1982 East 20th Street

Chico, CA 95928

Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed Sunday


Oroville DRC

2140 Feather River Boulevard

Oroville, CA 95965

Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed Sunday


Malibu DRC

The Old Malibu Courthouse

23525 Civic Center Way Malibu, CA 90265

Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed Sundays

*This location will close on Friday, January 18


Agoura Hills DRC

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

30440 Agoura Road

Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 5

Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m..

Closed Sundays


A graphic of a map and a text messaging conversation to illustrate how people can locate a disaster recovery center in their area by texting DRC and their zip code to 43362.

Housing Options for Wildfires Survivors

FEMA and non-profit recovery organizations are working diligently to assist individuals and families impacted by the recent wildfires have a safe place to stay while they wait to return to evacuated areas or begin their recovery if their home was burned. Housing solutions may be grouped into emergency, intermediate and long-term options, and will vary by community and household.

Emergency Shelter

  • If survivors have need of emergency shelter, there are a number of open, safe shelters with spaces available in Northern and Southern California. Wildfire survivors can find a shelter by contacting 1-800-REDCROSS or use the Red Cross Shelter Finder app, which populates the location of open shelters in all states. You can also text ‘SHELTER’ and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA).

Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA)

  • Available for survivors in Butte County.
  • TSA provides short-term lodging assistance for evacuees who are not able to return home for an extended or indeterminate period following a disaster because their communities are either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to disaster-related damages.
  • Applicants who have been notified as being eligible for TSA may stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and lodging taxes covered by FEMA.
    • For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund, through direct payments to the participating locations. The applicant is responsible for all other costs associated with lodging and amenities, including, but not limited to incidental room charges or amenities, such as telephone, room service, food, etc.
  • Participating locations are listed at femaevachotels.com. Survivors authorized to use TSA should contact establishments to check on room availability.

Critical Needs Assistance (CNA)

  • Available for survivors in Butte County in the fixed amount of $500 in accelerated disaster assistance.
  • CNA is provided to eligible individuals and households that may be used for life-savings and/or life-sustaining items such as, but not limited to, water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, personal hygiene times, and fuel for transportation.

Rental Assistance

  • Expedited Rental Assistance may be available for uninsured survivors in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Survivors in those counties who are unable to return to their home or have destroyed homes can receive up to one month’s rental assistance at the fair market rate.
  • FEMA assistance may be available for eligible applicants in the form of grants to help pay for temporary housing, such as renting a place to live temporarily, as well as home repair or replacement. This may include renting an apartment, house, travel trailer or staying at a hotel, bed and breakfast or Airbnb.
  • Uninsured lodging expenses may be eligible for reimbursement under the Individuals and Households Program. Displaced survivors who were already staying in hotels are encouraged to register with FEMA and submit their lodging receipts. Receipts may be uploaded at disasterassistance.gov. Survivors who registered and did not submit receipts may contact FEMA for guidance in submitting documentation.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans

  • Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, homeowners, renters and most nonprofit organizations.
  • Homeowners and renters should apply to the SBA, even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. If applicants are referred, failure to complete and return a loan application may stall their federal disaster assistance application. If not approved for an SBA loan, individuals and households may be referred back to FEMA for possible additional grants.

Direct Housing

  • FEMA, Cal OES and partner agencies have formed a State-lead Joint Housing Task Force to review all available housing options for temporary/short-term and permanent/long-term housing needs of those affected by the wildfires. These may include:
    • Direct leasing of available apartments and condominiums that are not generally available to survivors;
    • The placement of manufactured homes and recreational vehicles in existing commercial parks;
    • The placement of manufactured homes and recreational vehicles on private property where codes, conditions and support infrastructure are available.
  • Direct Housing Assistance Process:
    • Intermediate housing assistance is available for eligible applicants through insurance, FEMA disaster assistance and state supplemental assistance.
    • Intermediate housing that suits the needs of individual applicants is determined through one-on-one interviews with homeowners and renters whose damage or losses meet certain criteria. FEMA is contacting applicants directly to discuss available options under the direct housing program.
      • These options, including rental assistance, are available for up to 18 months, based on continuing survivor needs and eligibility criteria.
    • Housing considerations will incorporate the unique needs of the population affected by the Camp Fire, which includes many seniors and people with access and functional needs.
    • Right now, we are focused on identifying the best solutions for the community. These include the use of recreational vehicles and manufactured housing units.
      • FEMA is working with owners and managers of locations that have existing sites available to place Recreational Vehicles or Manufactured Housing Units, and assessing and determining the feasibility of developing additional sites.
        • FEMA determines site feasibility by:
          • Ensuring housing is not placed in high risk flood zones and debris flows areas.
          • Ensuring there is a capability to provide adequate water distribution
          • Ensuring there is a capability to provide for adequate sewer removal
          • Ensuring sites have adequate electrical hookup capability
          • Sites conform with state, county and local development codes
        • Other factors that are taken into consideration are community wrap around services such as:
          • Access to fire, medical and police services
          • School access for children
          • Availability of social services
          • Access to public transportation
          • The impact a housing site will have on a community
  • FEMA has also implemented the Multifamily Lease and Repair Program. This form of direct temporary housing assistance allows FEMA to repair or make improvements to existing multifamily housing units. (ex. Apartments)

What Survivors Can Do Now: Contact Your Insurance Company and Apply for Disaster Assistance

  • Survivors who have insurance should contact their insurance company and then register with FEMA.
    • FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help survivors with uninsured or underinsured losses or if their insurance settlement is delayed. Applicants should notify FEMA of their situation and provide insurance company documentation.
  • Survivors in the following California counties: Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura, who were affected by the recent wildfires are encouraged to register for disaster assistance with FEMA if they haven’t already. Once registered, households may qualify for assistance through the joint federal/state Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and State Supplemental Grant Programs.
    • Survivors can apply online at disasterassistance.gov or by phone at (800) 621-3362 or (TTY) (800) 462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call (800) 621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
    • To be considered for assistance, at least one person in the household must be a U.S. citizen or by legal definition a qualified alien or non-citizen national with a Social Security number. This may include a child.
    • The California State Supplemental Grant Program may assist with any eligible items not already addressed by the IHP.

FEMA is actively contacting survivors to determine their housing needs so that they can be quickly transitioned into an appropriate intermediate housing solution as they become available. Please visit wildfirerecovery.org to find a comprehensive list of disaster programs, resources and information.

Disaster Survivor Assistance

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) crews are reaching out to survivors in fire-damaged communities. Crew members can answer questions, register survivors and make referrals to whole community partners. All FEMA employees and contractors carry an official government or contractor badge to identify themselves. To guard against fraud, survivors should ask to see a badge.

There are DSA teams in Butte County, Los Angeles and Ventura counties to take wildfire survivor registrations. These teams are visiting shelters to register survivors.

Food Assistance

If you have been affected by the wildfires and are in need of food assistance, apply for benefits through the CalFresh program. Find out how to apply in your county by calling (877) 847-3663 (FOOD) or apply online at: Benefitscal.org. For more information on CalFresh, visit: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/.

Emergency Prescription Assistance

Uninsured survivors of the Camp and Woolsey Fires living in Butte, Los Angeles or Ventura County, are eligible for free prescription refills, vaccines and medical supplies.

  • Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP), has been launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • A contractor administers this program on behalf of HHS and will immediately begin taking claims for prescription drugs, vaccines, specific medical supplies and limited durable medical equipment like wheelchairs and oxygen concentrators.
  • The program pays for a 30-day supply of prescription medications for people without health insurance who are affected by disasters. Most pharmacies Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties participate in EPAP. You must provide proof of a new or existing prescription.
  • If you need replacement durable medical equipment, medical supplies, or vaccinations that do not usually require a prescription, ask your healthcare provider to contact the pharmacy. All prescriptions processed through EPAP are free of charge.
  • To find a participating pharmacy online, visit https://go.usa.gov/xPUGC. Call the pharmacy listed for your ZIP code to confirm it is open.
  • If you have questions about EPAP, call 855-793-7470 or visit https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/

Mitigation Outreach

Thousands of homes and businesses were burned to the ground in mid-November, as wildfires spread through portions of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Countless other structures were damaged — many so severely as to make them uninhabitable. As recovery efforts continue throughout the damaged areas, free advice is available to those beginning to repair or rebuild their homes and businesses.

FEMA, local hardware and home improvement stores have teamed up to answer questions and provide tips and techniques geared to do-it- yourselfers and contractors on how to make homes and businesses better, stronger, safer and less susceptible to the next disaster.

Free reference booklets, in English and Spanish, with information on how to protect your home or business from natural disasters, will be available at each session. More information about strengthening property can be found at fema.gov/what-mitigation.

This week, FEMA mitigation specialists will be at:  in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties Wednesday thru Saturday, January 16-19, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, January 20, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday, January 21, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations: 

2150 Third St.
Oroville, CA 95965
Wednesday thru Saturday, January 16-19, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 20, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, January 21, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
500 S. Mills Rd.
Ventura, CA 93003
Wednesday thru Saturday, January 16-19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 20, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, January 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
8383 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
West Hills, CA 91304
Wednesday thru Saturday, January 16-19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 20, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, January 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mental Health

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Legal Services

FEMA, through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, provides limited, free legal help for survivors. Disaster Legal Services provide assistance to low-income individuals who are unable to secure adequate legal services to meet their disaster-related needs. Visit here for more information.

Looking for a Job?

The Northern California Veterans Administration (VA NorCal) is offering job-placement assistance – and you don’t have to be a veteran to get it.

VA NorCal has partnered with the California Military Department’s Work for Warriors employment program to offer job-placement assistance to veterans displaced by the Camp Fire in Butte County, The program has extended its services to any California resident impacted by the Camp, Hill and Woolsey Fire disasters.

Veterans and disaster survivors seeking job-placement assistance should call Work for Warriors representatives at 916-854-4426 or e-mail apply@workforwarriors.org.

Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides temporary unemployment benefits to people whose jobs or work hour losses are a direct result of the disaster. Affected individuals are encouraged to apply for DUA through the California Employment Development Department, which will first check to see if applicants can qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.


  • Do not return home until local officials indicate it is safe to do so.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use an N95 mask to keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe.
  • If you are not ordered to evacuate, but smoky conditions exist, stay inside in a safe location or go to a community building where smoke levels are lower.

Disaster Fraud

State and federal recovery officials urge California residents to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud from scam artists, identity thieves, and other criminals who may try to prey on vulnerable survivors of the wildfires. Common post-disaster fraud practices include:

  • Fake offers of state or federal aid
  • Phony housing inspectors
  • Fraudulent building contractors
  • Bogus pleas for post-disaster donation

Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste, or abuse may call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftccomplaintassistant.gov. You may also send an email to DHSOIGHotline@dhs.gov.


Cash is best. If you would like to donate to help fire-affected communities and individuals, cash donations are best. They reduce the amount of labor and the expense of sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods. Relief agencies use cash to meet survivors’ specific needs more quickly, while also supporting local economic recovery.

The North Valley Community Foundation is sponsoring several donation campaigns supporting Camp Fire survivors. To learn more or donate, visit https://www.nvcf.org.

A growing list of agencies are now accepting monetary donations at http://www.buttecountyrecovers.org.

Butte County animal shelters are also requesting no more donations at this time. However, they are facing a long-term sheltering situation and may have needs in the future. Interested donors can visit the North Valley Animal Disaster Group at https://www.nvadg.org/.

Did You Know?

Looking for Missing Loved Ones?

Register as an evacuee and search for registered evacuees at safeandwell.org. Or call the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Missing Persons Call Center (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) at 530-538-6570, 530-538-7544 or 530-538-7671.


Finding Pets & Pet Shelters

Contact the North Valley Animal Disaster Group at 530-895-0000 to report lost pets. Large pets can be found at the Butte County Fairgrounds: 199 E Hazel St., Gridley, CA 95948. Small pets are at the Chico Municipal Airport: 150 Airpark Blvd, Chico, CA 95973.


Not Getting Mail?

If you lived in Paradise, Magalia, Stirling City or Forest Ranch, pick up your mail at the downtown Chico Post Office, 141 W. 5th St. Berry Creek mail can be picked up at the Oroville Post Office, 1735 Robinson St. Bring photo ID.

(Courtesy VA NorCal)


All News Releases, Fact Sheets, and Updates for the California Wildfires (DR-4407) Are Available Here

Disaster Recovery Center in Malibu to Close, But Help is Still Available

FEMA Offers Free Advice on Repair, Rebuilding at Lowe’s in West Hills

FEMA Offers Free Advice on Repair, Rebuilding at Lowe’s in Ventura

FEMA Offers Free Advice on Repair, Rebuilding at Home Depot in Oroville

Nearly $350 Million in Federal Grants and Loans for Wildfire Survivors

Deadline Extended to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance

FEMA Offers Free Advice on Repair, Rebuilding at Woodland Hills Home Depot

FEMA Offers Free Advice on Repair, Rebuilding at Lowe’s in Oxnard

FEMA Offers Free Advice on Repair, Rebuilding at Home Depot in Chico

Fire-Damaged Septic Systems and Wells May Be Eligible for Assistance

FEMA Eligibility Letter May Not Be Last Word on Disaster Assistance

Los Angeles County Disaster Recovery Centers Changing Hours

Disaster Recovery Centers to Close for the Holidays

After Applying for FEMA Assistance, it’s Important to Keep in Touch

Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers to Visit Six Locations

Thousand Oaks Disaster Recovery Center to Close on Dec. 17

FACT SHEET: FEMA Eligibility Letter May Not Be Last Word on Disaster Assistance

Beware of Post-Wildfire Scams

$180 million in Grants and Loans Approved for Wildfire Survivors

FAQ: Getting the Disaster Help You Need

FAQ: All About Housing

Agoura Local Assistance Site Converts to Disaster Recovery Center

Citizenship Status and Eligibility for Disaster Assistance

Malibu Local Assistance Site Converts to Disaster Recovery Center

State/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Ventura County

Second Disaster Recovery Center Opens in Butte County

Response Efforts Continue for California Wildfires

State and Federal Partners Respond to the California Wildfires

Disaster Recovery Center to Open in Chico

Federal Aid Programs for the State of California


President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for California

Financial Assistance

Individual Assistance - Dollars Approved


Total Individual & Households Program (IHP) - Dollars Approved*


Total Housing Assistance (HA) - Dollars Approved*


Total Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - Dollars Approved*


Total Individual Assistance (IA) - Applications Approved*

Public Assistance - Dollars Approved

If and when public assistance obligated dollar information is available for this disaster, it will be displayed here. Information is updated every 24 hours.

* Dollars Approved: Assistance dollars approved but not necessarily disbursed.

Learn more about FEMA Disaster definitions. Information is updated every 24 hours.

Related Links

Last Updated: 2018-11-30 05:00