Financial help is coming for California fire victims in the form of income- and property-tax relief for individuals and businesses in most affected counties and federal grants and loans for those in Sonoma, Napa, Butte, Lake, Mendocino and Yuba counties.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency made “individual assistance” available to people and businesses in Sonoma County starting Thursday and those in Napa County starting Friday. FEMA added Butte, Lake, Mendocino and Yuba counties to the list Saturday.
Previously, FEMA had only made funds available in seven North Bay counties for “public assistance” such as debris removal and emergency services. On Friday, it added public assistance for Solano County and Orange County in Southern California, which is also fighting wildfires.
In the designated counties, homeowners, renters and businesses can now apply for grants (which don’t have to be repaid) or low-interest loans to cover uninsured fire-related expenses such as temporary housing; funeral and emergency medical costs; replacing personal property, including cars; and repairing and replacing homes and buildings.
FEMA officials encouraged all fire victims to file an insurance claim as soon as possible, but also apply for FEMA assistance where available, because it could cover uninsured expenses or costs that exceed their coverage limits.
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