The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized more than $700,000 in assistance for victims of August’s devastating Blue Cut Fire.
The Board authorized $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to provide assistance to qualified residents impacted by the Blue Cut Fire. The Board also authorized $110,000 to cover the cost of roll-off bins to remove fire debris and $100,000 in miscellaneous assistance.
“This is an important first step on the road to recovery and rebuilding,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert Lovingood.
The recovery effort continues on multiple fronts for the hardest hit areas including the steps required for debris removal. Providing roll-off bins will aid the fire victims in the clean-up process and help jump start rebuilding efforts by simplifying the challenging task of disposing of fire debris.
The Blue Cut Fire started Aug. 16, 2016 in the Cajon Pass. San Bernardino County Fire put water-dropping helicopters on scene within minutes, along with U.S. Forest Service aircraft. But erratic winds spread the fire spread quickly and carried embers up to two miles away, touching off new fires. At the peak of the battle to control the Blue Cut Fire, 2,684 personnel were actively involved in the fire fight.
“San Bernardino County staff have come together and worked hard to provide relief to Blue Cut Fire victims,” Lovingood said. “We had 14 County agencies and numerous community partners and volunteers helping evacuees at the Local Assistance Center at the fairgrounds. Now we have shifted into a new phase in providing assistance.”
Residents affected by the Blue Cut Fire who need help with services and housing are urged to call 2-1-1 or 877-410-8829.
Low-interest disaster loans available through the SBA’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center at San Bernardino County Fire Station #305, 8331 Caliente Road, Hesperia, CA 92344. The center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays through Sept. 22. No appointment is necessary.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. Foreign language assistance is available by calling (800) 305-9673.
Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more disaster assistance information or to download applications, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster.