Federal Aid DENIED

for Blue Cut Fire Victims

The American Flag towers over 5 o'clock traffic after I-15 reopened.                Photo by Dave Stone, Big Bear Lake 


Friday August 19, 2016 ____ San Bernardino County residents who have lost their homes to the Blue Cut Fire have been asking local relief workers if federal assistance will be available to help them rebuild.   

Unfortunately, the fire is not expected to reach the threshold needed to qualify for a federal disaster declaration and the federal aid that would follow.  

The ongoing Blue Cut Fire burning through several San Bernardino County communities already stands as one of the most costly disasters to strike the county in recent years. But counties, cities, and other local government agencies cannot directly request federal aid. Only states can ask for a federal disaster declaration.   

San Bernardino County declared a local emergency on Tuesday August 16, 2016, the day the fire broke out. In response, California Governor Brown declared a ‘State of Emergency’and requested a ‘Federal declaration’, which would have cleared the way for federal assistance to fire victims.

But the fire did not meet the threshold for a federal disaster, and the request was not approved.  




The state of California countered, by combining the Blue Cut Fire with two other recent California wildfires in a request for federal consideration. But the federal government did not approve that proposal, either. 

San Bernardino County is helping fire victims to the degree that it can by operating a Local Assistance Center at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville   


The center is a one-stop location for the various services available to fire victims. Among the services assembled by the county at the center are the state Department of Insurance and various insurance companies who can provide homeowners with advice and assistance on restoring their properties.  

Also visit : http://www.BigBearLake.net/ETNews/Blue-Cut-Fire-Evacuees

And : http://www.bigbearlake.net/ETNews/Blue-Cut-Fire-Evacuees-  

The Local Assistance Center also includes representatives from the county Assessor/Recorder/clerk and the departments of Children and Family Services, Aging and Adult Services, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Veteran’s Affairs, Land Use Services, Transitional Assistance and Workforce Development. Also available are the State Department of Motor Vehicles, Oak Hills Water District, Community Action Partnership and Southern California Edison.