Governor Jerry Brown has signed an executive order to help streamline recovery efforts in communities affected by more than a dozen wildfires that continue to burn in Lake, Siskiyou, Shasta, Mendocino, and Napa counties.
15 major fires are currently burning in California and more than 13,000 firefighters from California, 17 other states, Australia, and New Zealand are working the front lines of wildfires statewide.
His executive order says “many of these fires are still far from contained, even while the state’s firefighting and emergency response resources have been stretched to their limits.”
The order includes provisions that:
- Expedite debris removal and cleanup of homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed by the fires;
- Extend the state’s prohibition on price gouging during emergencies;
- Suspend planning and zoning requirements and state fees for manufactured homes and mobile home parks to help displaced residents with housing needs;
- Allow for accelerated hiring of additional personnel for emergency and recovery operations;
- Provide waivers on temporary school facilities and outdoor physical education requirements to allow schools to open as quickly as possible;
- Extend the filing deadline for certain taxes for businesses in the affected counties;
- Streamline contracting and purchasing rules; and
- Strengthen coordination between state agencies on environmental restoration in fire-impacted areas.
According to reports, Brown earlier announced the federal government’s approval of a presidential major disaster declaration for Shasta County and met with local leaders and fire and emergency management officials at the Carr Fire Incident Command Post in Anderson.
The federal government is reviewing the presidential major disaster declaration request for Lake, Mendocino, and Napa counties on an expedited basis as preliminary damage assessments continue.
The Mendocino Complex fire is now the largest fire in state history and remains a dynamic challenge for firefighters, according to his office.