December 26, 2017 – The recovery process after a wildfire takes time. The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services continues to coordinate fire recovery efforts with non-profit, state and federal partners for debris clean-up and assistance efforts.

Clean-up Update
The physical clean-up of properties that are being cleaned by CalRecycle, the State’s clean-up program, is nearly complete. Thirty-four of the participating thirty-nine properties are cleaned with soil samples that have been sent out for testing to ensure the health and safety of the burn area. Soil reports will be sent to Nevada County Environmental Health, but no official reports have been received yet.

Once soil tests have been cleared, property owners are able to start the rebuilding process. All County-related building permit fees and County impact fees have been waived for homes or properties that were affected in the Lobo or McCourtney fires. To find out more information about the rebuilding process and the waived building permit fees, visit the webpage on Rebuilding Your Home after the Lobo or McCourtney fires, or give the Building Department a call at (530) 265-1222.

Erosion Areas
County staff has continued to monitor the burn areas to make sure there are no erosion or run-off issues. Earlier this week, staff reported that almost all burn areas are growing tall, healthy grass and are showing no signs of erosion.

FEMA Disaster Assistance
Residents that applied but received a letter from FEMA or the SBA saying that they were not eligible for FEMA’s Disaster Assistance may still be eligible. Applications often get denied by FEMA for a lack of information to continue processing the information such as insurance settlement letters, proof of residency or ownership of a damaged property, or simply not signing the required documents.

Residents can contact FEMA if they have  received a determination letter of ineligibility to find out how to appeal the decision or submit any required documents by:

  • Phone: call FEMA at 1(800) 621-3362 or TTY 1(800) 462-7585
  • Online: visit or use the FEMA app on your smart phone

Find more information on revisiting FEMA’s decision to grant Disaster Assistance in FEMA’s news release.

Disaster Counseling Available
Nevada County Behavioral Health, with support from California Department of Healthcare Services and FEMA, has received funding to provide a Disaster Distress Helpline for residents impacted by our recent fires. Residents affected by the fires can call 211 (or 1-844-319-4119 if dialing from a phone that is not in the 530 area code) to be connected with a trained disaster response counselor over the phone or in person.