Current Incidents

2021 Wildfire Siege

Unprecedented conditions continue to feed the 2021 wildfire season in California. Learn more about the major fires Cal OES is tracking and the resources provided to local communities.

Financial Assistance

Due to the multiple fires in 2021, the state and federal government have made financial assistance available. Click below to learn more.

Federal Disaster Assistance

DR-4619-CA

FEMA announced federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of California to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by wildfires from Aug. 14 and continuing.

Federal funding is available to the state, eligible local and tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities in El Dorado County.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Individual Assistance is under review.

DR-4610-CA

FEMA assistance may be available for uninsured or underinsured primary residences damaged or destroyed by recent wildfires in the following counties:

  • Lassen
  • Nevada
  • Placer
  • Plumas
  • Tehama
  • Trinity

Survivors should contact their insurance carriers first before registering with FEMA.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured personal property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

The registration deadline for DR-4610-CA is Monday, October 25, 2021. 

How to register for Federal Disaster Assistance for DR-4610-CA:

Californians can apply for FEMA assistance three ways:

  1. Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
  2. Download the FEMA App
  3. Call the FEMA Helpline at (800) 621-3362 (TTY (800) 462-7585)

Open 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. PDT, 7 days a week

After registering, you can set up an account to check your status, view messages from FEMA, update your personal information, and upload important documents. You can create an account by visiting disasterassistance.gov

Individual Assistance Applications Approved for DR-4610-CA

Learn more about the number of Individual Assistance applications approved and the Individual & Households Program dollars approved for the Dixie and River Fires here.

September 22, 2021: FEMA Inspections Begin in Counties Impacted by Wildfire

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Californians in Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Trinity, and Tehama counties who have been impacted by wildfires that started in July and August 2021 can now file for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The California Employment Development Department (EDD) administers these benefits, which are available to workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or businesses, or had their work hours reduced due to the ongoing wildfires. Learn more here.

State Employee Assistance

As a state employee, if you or a family member are impacted by the fires in California, you may be eligible to receive state benefits. As we have multiple fires burning throughout the state, you or your family might be impacted. Below is some helpful information about services available to State employees dealing with the evacuations and impacts, as well as links to websites that contain the latest information on the two main fires in California. More information will be included if additional services and programs become available. Please note it is always important to listen to the local officials regarding evacuations and road closures, as well as obey all posted restrictions.

Information Sheet: Resources for State Employees Impacted by Recent Fires (PDF)

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Administrative Time Off (ATO)
  • Leave of Absence (LOA)
  • Catastrophic Leave – Natural Disasters
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • State Disability Insurance (SDI)/Paid Family Leave (PFL) & Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI)
  • Savings Plus Accounts (401k/457b)
  • Magellan Wildfire Resources
  • Group Legal Services Insurance
  • VSP Vision Care

As a reminder, state employees can find information on fire resources on EAP website home page at here and can call EAP toll free number (1-866-327-4762) to access services any time of the day or night.

Small Business Administration

If you are a survivor of the Beckwourth Complex, Tamarack Fire, Dixie Fire or River Fire, during the recovery process, you can apply for SBA disaster assistance if needed. Check disasterloan.sba.gov to confirm if SBA has issued a disaster declaration for your area. SBA resource partners such as SCORE and SBDCs can help you apply for disaster loans and can advise you on other aspects of the recovery process as you get your business back up and running.

Dixie/River/McFarland/Monument Fires

Beckwourth Complex/Tamarack Fire

For more information about SBA disaster assistance, visit sba.gov/disaster.

Caldor Fire

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit organizations in California following President Biden’s federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance as a result of the Caldor Fire that began Aug. 14, 2021. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance.

These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in El Dorado County.

Private nonprofit organizations should contact the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Recovery Section by emailing disasterrecovery@caloes.ca.gov or by visiting  https://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/recovery/public-assistance/applicants-briefings to obtain information about applicant briefings. At the briefings, private nonprofit representatives will need to provide information about their organization. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will use that information to determine if the private nonprofit provides an “essential governmental service” and is a “critical facility” as defined by law. If so, FEMA may provide the private nonprofit with a Public Assistance grant for their eligible costs. If not, FEMA may refer the private nonprofit to SBA for disaster loan assistance.

Debris Removal

The State's Consolidated Debris Removal Program has two phases:

In Phase I, local government, state and federal agencies have organized teams of experts and contractors to inspect the property and assess, make safe, and/or remove any household hazardous waste that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, herbicides, pesticides, propane tanks, asbestos siding, and paints. Phase I is automatic and includes all residential properties that have been destroyed by the fires.

In Phase II, local, state and federal officials will coordinate to conduct fire-related debris removal from the property elected to participate in the State Program by signing a Right-of-Entry Form.

Learn more about those efforts below.

Phase 1: Household Hazardous Waste

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is mobilizing resources at the direction of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) for emergency Phase 1 cleanup operations to remove Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) from properties impacted by four wildfires this year.

As California faces unprecedented wildfire activity, DTSC is currently working with local governments and state agencies to protect the public by removing HHW such as paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, pesticides, compressed cylinders and tanks, and easily identifiable asbestos.

Below, Cal OES is providing an update on the work being done to clear HHW from homes impacted by the following fires:

  • Tamarack Fire (Alpine County)
  • Beckwourth Fire (Lassen and Plumas Counties)
  • Dixie Fire (Butte, Plumas, Lassen, Tehama Counties)
  • Lava Fire (Siskiyou County)
  • Cache Fire (Lake County)
  • River Fire (Nevada and Placer Counties)

The public can track the progress of statewide wildfire hazardous waste cleanup on a real-time dashboard mapping system. Information will be uploaded as soon as it becomes available.

Learn more here.

Phase 2: Right-of-Entry

In Phase II, Cal OES, CalRecycle, FEMA, and local officials will coordinate through a State Incident Management Team to conduct fire-related debris removal from your property if you have elected to participate in the State Program by signing a Right-of- Entry Form.

El Dorado County

  • Click here for the El Dorado County-specific ROE Form.
  • You can also request a form by emailing CaldorfireROE@edcgov.us or obtain one in person at the Environmental Management Department at 2850 Fairlane Court, Placerville, CA 95667.
  • If you have any questions, please call (530) 621-5101 or (530) 621-5300.

Mendocino County

  • Click here for the Mendocino County-specific ROE Form.
  • You can also request a form by emailing pbs@mendocinocounty.org or obtain one in person at the Department of Planning and Building Services at 860 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482.
  • If you have any questions, please call (707) 234-6650.

Nevada County

Placer County

Plumas County

Trinity County

Siskiyou County – Antelope Fire

Siskiyou County – Lava Fire

Resources

The State Operations Center is currently activated to its highest level to ensure the coordinated response and recovery efforts statewide to provide California communities the resources they need. Click below to learn more about important information.

Insurance Coverage
September 20, 2021:
 
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered insurance companies to preserve residential insurance coverage for more than 325,000 policyholders who have been affected by devastating Northern California wildfires across 22 counties. This Order protects those living within the perimeter or adjoining ZIP Code of a declared wildfire disaster regardless of whether they suffered a loss, including the Dixie, Caldor, River, Tamarack, Antelope, McFarland, Monument, Fly, and Cache fires.  
 
“Climate change-fueled wildfires continue to devastate homeowners and communities. My moratorium orders help provide short-term relief as we address the root causes of these ever-intensifying natural disasters,” said Commissioner Lara. “This California law empowers my office to help give people the breathing room they desperately need as they recover. I will both continue to enforce this law to protect consumers and continue working to create long-term solutions.”
 
The Commissioner's ability to issue moratoriums is a result of a California law he authored in 2018 while serving as state senator in order to provide temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire disaster.
 
Today’s moratorium order follows Governor Gavin Newsom's six emergency declarations this summer and gives protection from insurance company-initiated non-renewals for one year for residential property insurance policies in ZIP codes within or adjacent to the fire perimeter. Today’s declared moratorium includes Governor Newsom’s July 23August 5August 10August 17August 30, and September 7 Declarations affecting parts of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Glen, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba counties. Consumers’ one year of protection from non-renewal starts on the date of the Governor’s emergency declaration that included the fire affecting them.
 
Today's order protects 325,000 policyholders and is in addition to 25,000 policyholders who were protected in the Commissioner’s moratorium order following the July 23 wildfire emergency in Lassen, Plumas, and Siskiyou counties.
 
Consumers can go to the California Department of Insurance website to see if their ZIP Code is included in the moratorium. Consumers should contact the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357 or via chat or email at insurance.ca.gov if they believe their insurance company is in violation of this law, or have additional claims-related questions.
 
The Commissioner's action is part of a larger solution he is pursuing for consumers and wildfire survivors that includes working to increase insurance protections and market competition to help protect consumers. Commissioner Lara’s actions since taking office in 2019 include:

  • Introduced rules that would allow consumers to obtain their home or business’s “wildfire risk score” from their insurance company and require that they receive credit for actions they have taken to make their properties safer.
  • Created a partnership with CAL FIRE, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), and other state agencies to establish achievable, science-based home-hardening measures would allow more people to qualify for an insurance discount or other incentive.
  • Sponsored new insurance protections signed into law by Governor Newsom — despite opposition from insurance companies — that will mean larger payouts for some claims, less red tape from insurance companies, and more help for people under evacuation orders.
  • Ordered the FAIR Plan, the state's insurer of last resort, to offer a more comprehensive homeowners policy as an option, which a judge recently upheld.

“Protecting consumers is Job One,” added Commissioner Lara, who traveled to 36 counties before the pandemic and held virtual meetings since then to listen to the challenges that consumers have with insurance. “I am using every tool possible to protect consumers in the wake of climate change-intensified natural disasters and to stop bigger losses.”

 
Following Governor Newsom's state of emergency declarations, the Department of Insurance partners with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), pursuant to existing statute, to identify wildfire perimeters for mandatory moratorium areas. The Department of Insurance will continue to collaborate with CAL FIRE and CalOES to identify additional wildfire perimeters for any fires where there is a declaration of a state of emergency.
 
  • The mandatory one-year moratorium announced today covers 325,000 residential policies in ZIP codes located within or adjacent to the Dixie, Caldor, River, Tamarack, Antelope, McFarland, Monument, Fly, and Cache fires under Senate Bill 824 (Lara, Chapter 616, Statutes of 2018), also known as the Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act.
  • While existing law prevents non-renewals and cancellations for those who suffer a total loss in areas subject to a declared disaster, the new law established protection for those living within or adjacent to a declared wildfire emergency of whether they suffer a loss — recognizing for the first time in law the disruption that non-renewals cause in communities following wildfire disasters. Homeowners who suffered a total property loss have up to 24 months of protection from non-renewal or cancellation.
  • Consumers can go to the Department of Insurance website to find the Commissioner’s Bulletin to see if their ZIP Code is included in this moratorium.
Beware of Fraud and Scams

Survivors should be aware that con artists and criminals may try to obtain money or steal personal information through fraud, scams and identity theft. In some cases, thieves try to register with FEMA using stolen names, addresses and Social Security numbers. FEMA encourages survivors to watch for and report any suspicious activity.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance

  • Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. Do not trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information.
  • Do not disclose information to any unsolicited telephone calls or e-mails from individuals claiming to be FEMA or federal employees. FEMA will not contact you unless you have called FEMA first or applied for assistance.
  • FEMA representatives will ask for Social Security and bank account numbers when you apply and may ask for it again after you apply. Be cautious when giving this information to others who ask. Scam artists may pose as government officials, aid workers or insurance company employees.
  • Ask to see ID badges. All FEMA representatives carry an identification badge with a photograph. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not proof of identity.

Phony Property Inspections

  • Be wary of unexpected phone calls or visits to your home from people claiming to be FEMA housing inspectors or saying they work for FEMA. FEMA representatives will have a laminated badge and your FEMA registration number.
  • Housing inspectors never charge a fee to inspect your property.
  • Be on alert if somebody asks for your nine-digit registration number. FEMA inspectors will never ask for this information. They already have it in their records.
  • Do not give your banking information to a person claiming to be a FEMA housing inspector. FEMA inspectors are never authorized to collect your personal financial information.
  • No government disaster assistance official will call you to ask for your financial account information. If you doubt a FEMA representative is legitimate, hang up and call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to report the incident.

Phony Building Contractors

  • FEMA does not hire or endorse specific contractors to fix homes or recommend repairs. A FEMA housing inspector’s job is to verify damage.
  • Always hire a reputable engineer, architect or building official to inspect your home. An unethical contractor may create damage to get work.
  • When in doubt, report any suspicious behavior to your local authorities.

Bogus Pleas for Post-Disaster Donations

  • Unscrupulous actors may attempt to solicit assistance for disaster survivors by phone, email, letter or face-to-face.
  • Verify legitimate solicitations:
    • Ask for the charity’s name, address, phone number and website. Then, call the charity to confirm that the person asking for funds is an employee or volunteer.
    • Don’t pay with cash.
    • Request a receipt with the charity’s name, street address, phone number and web address, if applicable.

Report Scams, Fraud and Identity Theft

During each disaster, it is important to stay tuned to local media and trusted local and federal social media for current updates about ongoing disasters. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, check with FEMA or local law enforcement to ensure your identity is protected.

Learn more here.

Local Assistance Centers
Mobile Registration Intake Centers

Mobile Registration Intake Centers are temporary sites to support survivors with disaster information. It offers an optional opportunity for survivors to register for federal assistance, especially those without access to internet or telephone services.

Disaster Recovery Centers

Disaster Recovery Centers offer information on available resources to homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage to their properties from the Dixie or River Fires.

Disaster Recovery Center in Weaverville: September 29

Disaster Recovery Center in Janesville: September 20

Disaster Recovery Center in Chester: September 14

Requested Support

Presidential Major Disaster Declaration Request

September 13, 2021: The White House approved a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for El Dorado County to assist state, tribal and local governments with Caldor Fire emergency response and recovery costs. This follows the Presidential Emergency Declaration California secured earlier this month to support the Caldor Fire response, and a previous Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support counties impacted by the Dixie and River fires.

September 10, 2021: Governor Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to assist wildfire response and recovery efforts in El Dorado County. The request follows the Presidential Emergency Declaration California secured last week to support the Caldor Fire response, and a previous Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to support counties impacted by the Dixie and River fires.

September 2, 2021: Governor Gavin Newsom announced that, within hours of California’s request, the White House has approved a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to bolster the response to the Caldor Fire in El Dorado, Amador, Alpine and Placer counties.

September 1, 2021: Governor Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to bolster the emergency response and recovery efforts underway in El Dorado, Amador, Alpine and Placer counties.

August 24, 2021: Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the White House has approved California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, submitted August 23, 2021, to bolster the ongoing emergency response to wildfires and support impacted communities in Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Plumas counties. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for programs and support that can include housing assistance, counseling, medical services and legal services. The declaration includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs and hazard mitigation, which helps state and local governments reduce the risks and impacts of future disasters.

  • Are you a Dixie or River Fire survivor? Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance: Wildfire survivors in Lassen, Nevada, Placer & Plumas counties impacted by the Dixie Fire can apply for Federal Disaster Assistance. Go online to disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or through the FEMA mobile app.

August 23, 2021: Governor Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to assist state and local wildfire response and recovery efforts in Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties. This federal request is specific to the Dixie, Antelope, McFarland, Monument and River fires. A subsequent request may be made for the Caldor and other fires once fire conditions allow state, local and federal officials to safely assess the scope of damage.

California Governor Executive Orders
California Disaster Assistance Act Public Assistance

On August 20, 2021, Cal OES announced Plumas County will be receiving an advance of $5 million and Alpine County $1 million in California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) Public Assistance funding. Learn more here.

Federal Management Assistance Grants

The state has secured FMAGs to support the response to the Dixie Fire in LassenButte and Plumas counties and the response to the Fawn Fire, French FireCaldor FireMonument FireRiver Fire and Lava Fire. An FMAG, which is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund on a cost-share basis, enables local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs. The program, which is administered through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), provides rapid financial assistance to communities impacted by fires.