Valley News -

Supervisors declare Cranston Fire a county emergency


Last updated 7/31/2018 at 1:47pm

RIVERSIDE - The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today formally declared a county emergency stemming from the Cranston Fire near Idyllwild to secure grants and other assistance that may be needed in the aftermath.

The board was not in session when the monster blaze erupted south of Idyllwild in the San Bernardino National Forest last Wednesday, leaving county Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton to initiate an emergency declaration under his own authority. However, that action was only temporary and had to be affirmed by the board, which voted 4-0 to make it official. Supervisor Marion Ashley was absent.

"Thousands of residents have been impacted by the fire,'' Barton said in documents posted to the policy agenda. "The ongoing fire and aftermath will necessitate resources from both state and local entities. The proclamation of Local Emergency begins the process to receive resources for assistance to first responders, residents, and others impacted by the fire.''

The emergency declaration can be re-affirmed by the board every 30 days, enabling the county to continue applying for assistance from the governor's Office of Emergency Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others.

FEMA has already signed off on funding for "mitigation, management and control'' efforts related to the Cranston Fire, which was allegedly ignited by 32-year-old Brandon N. McGlover of Temecula. He pleaded not guilty last week to multiple counts of arson and is scheduled to make another court appearance on Sept. 24 in Murrieta.

The 13,000-acre wildfire was 80 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, and some of the areas previously evacuated have been re-opened, though Hurkey Creek, Mountain Center and parts of Garner Valley remain under evacuation orders, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed an emergency for Riverside County on Thursday because of the blaze, which local, state and federal firefighters are battling.


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