Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency in Sonoma and Los Angeles Counties Due to Fires

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SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an emergency proclamation for the counties of Sonoma and Los Angeles due to the effects of the Kincade and Tick fires, which have destroyed structures, threatened homes and critical infrastructure, and caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

Later today, Governor Newsom will travel to Sonoma County to survey areas impacted by the Kincade Fire and meet with emergency responders, residents, health officers and local and state officials.

Yesterday, the Governor announced that the state has secured federal Fire Management Assistance Grants to help ensure the availability of resources to fight the Kincade and Tick fires and enable local, state and tribal agencies to recover eligible costs. Yesterday, the Governor also held a public briefing in Los Angeles regarding the ongoing fire threats and the need to hold utilities accountable for the consequences of their decisions to shut off power for large portions of the state.

The full text of the proclamation is below:

  PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY

 WHEREAS beginning on October 23, 2019, a significant wind event struck California, resulting in nearly statewide red flag warnings due to extremely dangerous fire weather conditions; and

WHEREAS on October 23, 2019, the Kincade Fire began burning in Sonoma County; and

WHEREAS on October 24, 2019, the Tick Fire began burning in Los Angeles County; and

WHEREAS these fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten homes and other structures, necessitating the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents; and

WHEREAS these fires forced the closure of major roadways and are threatening power lines and other critical infrastructure; and

WHEREAS erratic winds, high temperatures, and dry conditions have further increased the spread of these fires; and

WHEREAS the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Fire Management Assistance Grants to assist with the mitigation, management, and control of the Kincade Fire and Tick Fire; and

WHEREAS local and state emergency operations centers have been activated; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8558(b), I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist due to the Kincade Fire and Tick Fire in Sonoma County and Los Angeles County, respectively; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8558(b), I find that the conditions caused by these fires, by reason of their magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to appropriately respond; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8625(c), I find that local authority is inadequate to cope with the magnitude of the damage caused by these fires; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8571, I find that strict compliance with various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of these fires.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, Government Code section 8625, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in Los Angeles and Sonoma counties due to these fires.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

  1. All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all citizens are to heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.
  2. The Office of Emergency Services shall provide local government assistance to Sonoma and Los Angeles counties, if appropriate, under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act, Government Code section 8680 et seq., and California Code of Regulations, Title 19, section 2900 et seq.
  3. As necessary to assist local governments and for the protection of public health and the environment, state agencies shall enter into contracts to arrange for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly assist with the response to and recovery from the impacts of these fires. Applicable provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code, including but not limited to travel, advertising, and competitive bidding requirements, are suspended to the extent necessary to address the effects of these fires.
  4. The provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code section 1253 imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are suspended as to all applicants who are unemployed as a direct result of these fires who applied for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning October 23, 2019, and ending on the close of business on April 23, 2020, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  5. Vehicle Code sections 9265(a), 9867, 14901, 14902, and 15255.2, requiring the imposition of fees, are suspended with regard to any request for replacement of a driver’s identification card, vehicle registration certificate, or certificate of title, by any individual who lost such records as a result of these fires. Such records shall be replaced without charge.
  6. The provisions of Vehicle Code sections 4602 and 5902, requiring the timely registration or transfer of title are suspended with regard to any registration or transfer of title by any resident of Sonoma County or Los Angeles County who is unable to comply with those requirements as a result of these fires. The time covered by this suspension shall not be included in calculating any late penalty pursuant to Vehicle Code section 9554.
  7. Health and Safety Code sections 103525.5 and 103625, and Penal Code section 14251, requiring the imposition of fees are hereby suspended with regard to any request for copies of certificates of birth, death, marriage, and dissolution of marriage records, by any individual who lost such records as a result of these fires. Such copies shall be provided without charge.
  8. In order to directly respond to the needs of impacted assisted living facilities, adult residential facilities, child care facilities, children’s residential facilities, resource family homes, and other similar facilities within the State Department of Social Services’ jurisdiction, the Director of the State Department of Social Services may waive any provisions of the Health and Safety Code or Welfare and Institutions Code, and accompanying regulations or written directives, with respect to the use, licensing, or approval of facilities or homes within the Department’s jurisdiction set forth in the California Community Care Facilities Act (Health and Safety Code section 1500 et seq.), the California Child Day Care Facilities Act (Health and Safety Code section 1596.70 et seq.), and the California Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly Act (Health and Safety Code section 1569 et seq.). Any waivers granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be posted on the Department’s website and shall only be in effect so long as necessary to address the direct impacts of the fires identified in this proclamation.

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 25th day of October 2019.

GAVIN NEWSOM

Governor of California

ATTEST:

ALEX PADILLA

Secretary of State 

 

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