Sacramento, California - Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci today secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Soberanes Fire burning in Monterey County near Carmel Garrapata State Park. This grant also enables local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs.
On Wednesday, Cal OES Chief Deputy Director Nancy Ward and CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott traveled to Monterey County to survey the fire and meet with key local, state and federal officials to ensure that first responders and emergency managers continue to receive the assistance they need from the state. Ward and Pimlott reiterated that the Soberanes fire is one of the state's top priority disasters. More than 3,500 federal, state and local firefighting personnel are involved, including mutual aid agencies from as far away as San Diego and Eureka.
On Tuesday, Acting Governor Tom Torlakson issued an emergency proclamation for Monterey County, making way for additional state emergency assistance under the direction of the Cal OES.
Thus far, the Soberanes fire has burned approximately 27,300 acres and destroyed 34 homes. Thousands more homes are threatened throughout the region. Hundreds of residents have been forced to evacuate as the fire continues to spread.
The areas burning are a mix of federal, state, county and private land. Strong winds, very hot temperatures during the day, with little-to-no cooling overnight have fed the flames and caused rapid growth. Rugged, steep and brush-covered terrain has also made for difficult firefighting conditions.
"FEMA is a great partner and California appreciates FEMA providing this grant to assist in critical fire suppression efforts," Director Ghilarducci said of FEMA's rapid work through the FMAG approval process.
The federal grant (FMAG), which is provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund on a cost-share basis, will assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.