Gov. Schwarzenegger Commits California to Comprehensive Review of Lake Tahoe Area Land Management
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the state’s participation in a California-Nevada Joint Blue Ribbon Task Force to perform a comprehensive review of land management practices associated with conditions that contributed to the devastating Angora Fire. State Senator Dave Cox, who represents South Lake Tahoe, requested the task force to be established. He and the Governor toured the fire zone with a group of officials on June 27, 2007.
“Now that the Angora Fire is contained, we must take every step to prevent this disaster from happening again, and we owe it to the victims to create the best land management practices that will lead to a healthy forest in the Lake Tahoe Basin,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I am pleased to join with Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons to find solutions to the serious issues raised in wake of the Angora Fire.”
In response to the Angora Fire, Governor Schwarzenegger visited the Lake Tahoe area twice since it began last week.
Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting that El Dorado County be declared a disaster area in order to provide SBA Disaster Loan Program assistance to Angora Fire victims. The request was granted today and will qualify victims of the Angora Fire for low income loans of up to $200,000 for homeowners to repair or replace their damaged or destroyed primary residence. Also, homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses of any size and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The loans are available for homeowners, renters and business owners whose property was damaged or destroyed in the fire.
As a result of this disaster, El Dorado County proclaimed a local emergency June 24, 2007, and subsequently requested state and federal assistance by a separate proclamation issued June 25, 2007. In response to El Dorado County’s request, a proclamation for a State of Emergency was issued on June 25, 2007. Governor Schwarzenegger also toured the fire zone to see first hand the devastation that was caused. The also Governor announced the establishment of a Local Assistance Center to help provide state and local services to assist victims displaced by the wildfire, suffering property loss and economic and other damages.
Governor Schwarzenegger also issued two executive orders to help victims of the wildfire recover. On June 27, 2007, he issued an executive order to assist individuals that suffered losses by waiving fees for replacing state documents lost in the fire including vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses and birth certificates. He issued another executive order on July 2, 2007 to help victims clean up and rebuild as quickly as possible by streamlining, and in some cases suspending, certain state rules regarding the removal and disposal of both hazardous and non-hazardous debris as well as dead and dying trees.
The Angora Fire began on June 24, 2007 in the North Upper Truckee area in South Lake Tahoe, California and was fully contained on July 2, 2007. The fire burned a total of 3,100 acres and destroyed 254 homes.