Valley News -

Agency seeks reimbursement for lending assistance during fires


Last updated 4/2/2019 at 9:40am

RIVERSIDE - The Board of Supervisors is slated on Tuesday, April 2 to approve a compact between the Ventura and Riverside County sheriff's departments to ensure that the latter is compensated for dispatching deputies to assist during the Woolsey and Hill fires, which together consumed 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties last fall.

A formal memorandum of understanding between the agencies is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency before it will disburse relief funding to cover the expenses incurred by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, according to documents posted to the board's agenda.

Nine deputies were sent to Ventura County on Nov. 8 under a mutual aid agreement. The law enforcement team assisted with public safety operations during the initial stages of the two blazes, incurring $10,265 in expenses, sheriff's officials said.

FEMA has approved public assistance grants to cover some of the costs stemming from the disaster.

The Woolsey Fire, which began near Simi Valley and spread south toward Malibu, blackened 96,949 acres, destroying about 1,500 structures, according to Cal Fire.

The Hill Fire started at the same time in the Santa Rosa Valley in Ventura County and charred 4,531 acres, damaging four structures, the agency said.

SoCal Edison has been sued by plaintiffs alleging its equipment triggered the Woolsey Fire, though an official cause has not been declared.

The Hill Fire also remains under investigation, but authorities believe it was the result of illegal burning.


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