Limón Named Co-Chair of Natural Disaster Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding Select Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 5, 2018
CONTACT: Denise Tugade
916-319-2037 or Denise.Tugade@asm.ca.gov
PRESS RELEASE: LIMÓN NAMED CO-CHAIR OF NATURAL DISASTER RESPONSE, RECOVERY, AND REBUILDING SELECT COMMITTEE
SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) was named Co-Chair of the California State Assembly Select Committee on Natural Disaster Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding by Speaker Anthony Rendon.
“As the impacts of extreme and irregular weather become more present in our lives, a greater understanding is needed about the compounding effect that drought, fire and rain will have throughout California. My community has gone through this series of immense tragedies, one after another, first with the largest wildfire recorded in California history, followed by the tragedy of the Montecito Mudslides,” said Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara). “Recovery will not be easy, but through this Committee in the State Assembly we will address forward-thinking policies and focus on sustainable solutions that will help us all rise to this challenge."
Natural disaster responders and weather scientists have reported increasingly long fire seasons, nearly year-round in many parts of the state. To meet the growing needs of Californians after the disasters and going forward, the Select Committee will cover a range of issues related to wildfires and mudslides, including climate disruption and causation, streamlining the recovery process for affected communities and preparation efforts for the future.
The Thomas Fire started on December 4, 2017 and burned for over a month, burning 281,893 acres, destroying 1,063 structures and killing 2 people before it was contained on January 12, 2018. Before the Thomas Fire reached full containment, the particularly mudslide prone area was hit with what is being called a “rain bomb,” dropping one-half inch of rain in five minutes. The Montecito Mudslides killed 21 people and destroyed or damaged 296 structures. Two people remain missing.
Co-chaired by Assemblymember Marc Levine, whose district faced devastation from the northern California Tubbs fire, the Select Committee will begin meeting in the next few months.
“California faced the most destructive and deadliest fires in state history last year,” said Assemblymember Levine. “There are going to be challenges to rebuilding efforts and we must consider the way our state can adapt to climate change.”
The 2017 California wildfires season was the most destructive and costly on record. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimates that a total of 9,054 fires burned 1,381,405 acres. A staggering 10,780 structures were destroyed by fires in 2017, while over 15,000 residential properties were listed as partial losses. And statewide, 43 lives were lost in the fires, higher than the last 10 years combined.