Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after President Donald Trump amended the federal Major Disaster Declaration for California to include Butte, Plumas and Yuba counties, making them eligible for direct federal funding for emergency protective measures as a result of the North Complex fires. Emergency protective measures are actions taken by an area before, during and after a disaster to eliminate or reduce an immediate threat to life, public health or safety or significant damage to public or private property. The Major Disaster Declaration went into effect Aug. 22, 2020 for several other California counties.
The North Complex is a group of lightning fires that started more than three weeks ago in Plumas National Forest. As a result of high winds and low humidity in the area on Sept. 8 and 9, the North Complex West Zone, formerly known as the Bear Fire, grew rapidly in Plumas, Butte, and Yuba counties. As of Sept. 10, the North Complex is 252,163 acres and 24 percent contained. There have been multiple injuries with three confirmed fatalities.
“The North Complex West Zone has devastated Berry Creek and the surrounding areas, taking the lives of three people,” LaMalfa said. “The firefighters on the ground are doing all they can to get the fires under control, but the fire is still a great threat. I’ve been in contact with the White House, supporting this Major Disaster Declaration for these counties, and I thank the president for acting quickly to fulfill Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties to receive emergency funding. My office will also stay engaged with the governor’s office and the White House to ensure that Siskiyou County, where the Slater Fire is currently burning, is also included in the Major Disaster Designation. Please pray for our heroic first responders, the residents of these counties, and the families of those who have lost loved ones in this disaster.”
The Slater Fire, burning in Siskiyou County near Happy Camp, is 127,660 acres and 0 percent contained. There has been several injuries and one fatality. As of Sept. 10, Siskiyou County has not been included in the Major Disaster Declaration.