Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order to further assist recovery efforts in Southern California related to the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides. The order helps ensure there’s the staffing and resources needed to continue to respond to the ongoing disaster and expedite debris removal.
Governor Brown announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the state’s request to expand the recently approved Presidential Major Disaster Declaration in the areas affected by the wildfires to include damage caused by flooding and mudslides.
EXECUTIVE ORDER B-46-18
WHEREAS on December 5, 2017, I proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in Ventura County, and on December 7, 2017, I proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in Santa Barbara, due to the Thomas Fire; and
WHEREAS the Thomas Fire destroyed nearly 1,000 structures, burned nearly 300,000 acres, and is the largest fire in California history; and
WHEREAS the Thomas Fire caused massive burn scars, exacerbating the potential for mud and debris flows; and
WHEREAS beginning on January 8, 2018, a storm system swept across Southern California, bringing high winds, substantial precipitation, and flooding to Santa Barbara County; and
WHEREAS this storm system caused dangerous flash flooding, erosion, and substantial mud and debris flows throughout the burn scar areas, forcing the evacuation of residents; and
WHEREAS the mud and debris flows have caused fatalities, damaged critical infrastructure, destroyed homes, and forced the closure of major highways and local roads, including Highway 101; and
WHEREAS the local health officers of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties have proclaimed a local health emergency pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 101080, as a result of this hazardous debris; and
WHEREAS California will require immediate additional resources to assist in recovering from, and mitigating the effects of these wildfires and subsequent mud and debris flows; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8571, I find that strict compliance with the various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the wildfires and subsequent mud and debris flows.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, and in particular, Government Code sections 8567 and 8571, do hereby issue the following order to become effective immediately:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services shall ensure adequate state staffing to expedite disaster response and recovery efforts. Consistent with applicable federal law, work hour limitations for retired annuitants, permanent and intermittent personnel, and any overtime restrictions for state management and senior supervisors, are suspended. Furthermore, Government Code sections 21220, 21224(a), and 7522.56(b), (d), (f), and (g), and the time limitations in
Government Code section 19888.1 and California Code of Regulations, title 2, sections 300-303 are suspended. The Director of the California Department of Human Resources must be notified of any individual employed pursuant to these waivers.
2. Any fairgrounds that the Office of Emergency Services determines are suitable for mitigating the effects or, or otherwise recovering from, the wildfires and subsequent mud and debris flows, shall be made available to the Office of Emergency Services pursuant to the Emergency Services Act, Government Code section 8589. The Office of Emergency Services shall notify the fairgrounds of the intended use and can immediately utilize the fairgrounds without the fairground board of directors’ approval.
3. Any state-owned properties that the Office of Emergency Services determines are suitable for staging of debris shall be made available to the Office of Emergency Services for this purpose.
4. The fourteen-day time period in Health and Safety Code section 101080, within which local governing authorities must renew its local health emergency, is hereby waived. The local health emergencies resulting from the December 2017 wildfire debris will remain in effect until each local governing authority terminates its respective health emergency.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 12th day of January 2018.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State