County publishes Thomas Fire recovery review

VENTURA, Calif. – On the six-month anniversary of the start of the Thomas Fire, the County of Ventura has published a review of its recovery efforts to date. The report, in English and Spanish, can be found on the County’s recovery website: http://venturacountyrecovers.org.

The report contains statistics on the fire and the assistance that was provided to those affected by the fire.

“The assistance and recovery numbers in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire are still changing on almost a daily basis,” said Bill Nash, County Public Information Officer. “The review provides a snapshot of where we were six months after the fire started and the numbers show how the County and the cities affected by the fire worked to help people recover from an unprecedented disaster.”

Among the statistics are:
• 4,000 contacts made by the Behavioral Health Department.
• A local housing and rental assistance program expanded just eight days after the start of the fire to provide direct aid.
• A Local Assistance Center opened nine days into the fire.
• 2,300 animals cared for by Ventura County Animal Services.
• 665 properties cleared of debris by June 1.
• $4.2 million in CalFresh disaster-related food benefits issued.
• $1.7 million in FEMA Individual Assistance Aid.
• $2.4 million in SBA home loans approved.
• 65,000 sandbags brought in for erosion and runoff control during the winter rains.

The recovery process is ongoing. With the last load of debris taken out under the CalRecycle program on June 1, nearly 700 lots are ready for new homes. The County waived certain permit fees and has introduced an expedited building permit process for fire victims.

The County is continuing to provide assistance in many areas and working to recover costs from its efforts during the fire. Recovery from a disaster does not occur overnight, but the County of Ventura will continue to work hard for its residents for as long as it takes.

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