OAKLAND, Calif. ― As we recognize the second anniversary of the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remains committed to Butte County’s recovery.
Two years ago, the Camp Fire – California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history – swept through 153,336 acres over 16 days. It destroyed 18,804 structures, prompted the evacuation of more than 30,000 residents and took the lives of 85 individuals.
Such wide-spread damage required a coordinated effort between local, state and federal government, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and volunteers to support Butte County in its response and long-term recovery efforts. Since 2018, FEMA has provided more than $238 million in assistance to local and state government agencies, and residents to support recovery from the Camp Fire.
Individuals and households received $84 million to manage rental expenses, home repair and home replacement costs, in addition to grants to replace personal property and cover other disaster-related expenses. As part of an extensive direct housing mission, FEMA also developed the 72-acre Gridley Industrial Park, with 289 manufactured housing units and mobile homes for thousands of displaced Butte County residents.
Costs of disaster-related debris removal, emergency protective measures to protect life and property, and permanent repair work to damaged or destroyed infrastructure have totaled more than $129 million. Funds have gone to repair and replace large portions of the Paradise Irrigation District’s water system, repair and restore nine damaged or destroyed Paradise Unified School District facilities, remove debris on public and private property, repair damaged roads and rebuild the Honey Run Bridge.
More than $25 million in hazard mitigation grants to Butte County and the Town of Paradise will reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to life and property from a future hazard. Some of the projects approved or under review will develop emergency notification systems, fuels reduction initiatives, administer code enforcement, install ignition-resistant materials in homes and create a defensible space program.
Due to the size and severity of the Camp Fire, FEMA established a long-term community recovery office in Paradise to take a holistic, long-term view of critical recovery needs and coordinate the mobilization of resources at the federal, state and community levels. Collectively, we are vested in and committed to the area’s long-term recovery plan to restore a functioning, healthy economy, improve infrastructure, expand housing, address environmental considerations, and make Butte County and the Town of Paradise more resistant to future disasters.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Follow FEMA Region 9 online at twitter.com/femaregion9 or view more news releases at fema.gov/fema-regions/region-ix.