Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Tours Clayton Fire

October 11, 2016
Press Release

LOWER LAKE, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-3rd District, CA) traveled to Lower Lake this weekend to visit areas damaged by the Clayton Fire that ravaged southern Lake County in August. He was joined by Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown, who is leading the local recovery effort. They discussed ongoing response and cleanup efforts.

During the visit, Congressman Garamendi also discussed ideas that would help rural communities like Lake County receive more support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Over the last 15 months, Lake County has experienced four major wildfires, but only one of these wildfires received a disaster declaration by FEMA, which is needed to unlock much of America’s emergency response resources. The Clayton Fire did not receive a disaster declaration, despite destroying around 200 structures, because current law disadvantages rural communities in heavily populated states. Congressman Garamendi thinks it makes sense that any community devastated by four major fires over 15 months should be allocated federal disaster relief assistance.

“This firsthand exposure to the devastation caused by the Clayton Fire gives me information that will be helpful to convince my colleagues in Congress that disaster relief reform is needed. I want to thank Supervisor Ron Brown for his incredible work helping our constituents,” Garamendi said. “Congress should be able to come together to proactively help rural communities that are suffering from natural disasters.”

In the immediate aftermath of the Clayton Fire, Congressmen John Garamendi and Mike Thompson alerted Lake County residents to Small Business Administration loans available to homeowners, businesses, and non-profits impacted by the fire. The filing deadline to report damage is November 7, 2016.