December 5, 2017 – California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Director Mark Ghilarducci today secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress a fast-moving wildfire burning in Ventura County near the cities of Ventura and Santa Paula. The FMAG also enables local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs.
The Thomas Fire, which began on Monday evening around 6:23 pm, has already burned more than 25,000 acres, threatening lives and thousands of homes near the area of Highway 150 and Santa Paula. Tens of thousands are without power in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties as wind-whipped flames are threatening high power transmission lines. As of 2am on Tuesday, more than 7,700 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders north of Foothill Road between the cities of Ventura and Santa Paula.
Cal OES is working with multiple response agencies to mobilize mutual aid strike teams and firefighters that may include fire engines, dozers, water tenders and aircraft
Cal OES Fire, Law Enforcement, and Southern Region personnel are currently working with other response agencies to address all emergency management, law enforcement, evacuation and mutual aid needs for the incident. The Cal OES Southern Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) has also been activated to support emergency management operations.
The federal Fire Management Assistance Grant, which is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund on cost-share basis, will assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.