LOS ANGELES – As first responders continue to battle the Woolsey Fire, Los Angeles County has launched comprehensive and coordinated recovery efforts to support the residents displaced by the fire. Woolsey Fire evacuations currently affect approximately 250,000 residents. The fire has burned over 96,000 acres and damaged hundreds of homes.
County officials, in partnership with State and Federal partners, are planning disaster recovery and assistance centers for affected communities. These centers will provide a convenient, central location where those affected by the recent fire can apply for temporary housing, consult with Building officials regarding reconstruction, and replace government-issued documents such as birth certificates and drivers licenses. More detailed information will be released as plans are finalized.
“Right now, our number one priority is containing the Woolsey Fire and ensuring public safety,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl who represents the affected areas, “but we know that another enormous task lies before us. We have brought together all relevant County Department leadership to begin planning a recovery effort. This fire is going to have a profound impact on many people’s lives, and we are doing everything in our power to jumpstart the recovery effort and ease the hardship in any way we can. In addition to the heroic efforts of first responders, many County Departments have been involved in important, but less high profile work during the crisis to ensure people’s safety and help us begin planning our recovery efforts. Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of County residents, including County employees, who have been directly, and in many cases, devastatingly affected by this tragedy.”
“We fully understand that each house is a home. Each home has a life and memories attached to it,” said Sheriff Jim McDonnell during a press conference this morning. “We see the pain and frustration of people trying to get back to their homes to assess for themselves what is left. We want to get you home. But more importantly, we want you alive.”
Although it may appear that fire threats have passed in some communities, County officials continue to urge residents not to return home until law enforcement and the County Fire Department determine that it is safe. Dangerous conditions still exist in neighborhoods affected by the fire including downed power poles, live power lines, live embers, buckled roads, destabilized hillsides as well as other hazards. For accurate, up-to-date information on the #WoolseyFire please go to lacounty.gov/woolseyfire or 211LA.org/fire.
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