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Gov. Brown declares state of emergency, SB County declares local - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Gov. Brown declares state of emergency, SB County declares local emergency due to wildfires

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(Credit: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire public information officer) (Credit: Mike Eliason, Santa Barbara County Fire public information officer)

Santa Barbara County declared a state of local emergency Sunday evening due to the Whittier and Alamo fires.

The county tweeted out the announcement just after 5 p.m., noting the decision was made around 2:30 p.m. 

Shortly after, Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation for Santa Barbara County. 

This declaration will work toward getting federal assistance from the California Emergency Services Act when it comes to additional resources and aid. The declaration is currently under a 7-day time period. 

"Protecting the public, firefighters, and other first responders is the county's top priority, as well as preventing damage to structures, infrastructure, and our rich agricultural resources," said Joan Hartmann, chair of the Board of Supervisors. "We are proud of and grateful to the public safety employees who are responding so effectively to both the Whittier and Alamo fires. This proclamation is one more step the county can take to respond to these significant events."

Sunday evening, Highway 154 was reopened after being closed for eight days following the Whittier Fire's growth. The fire is currently 49 percent contained, with 18,015 acres burned, and several structures destroyed or damaged

The Alamo Fire is 95 percent contained and has blackened 28,687 acres.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham sent this statement responding to the declarations: 

"I appreciate the governor's attention to the fires our community has been battling for a number of days now. This state of emergency status will give more resources and support for local officials and fire-damaged regions."

As well as Assembly member Monique Limon: 

"I commend Santa Barbara and other local officials for their brave and responsive actions to fight these devastating fires, which have burned thousands of acres, damaged homes and infrastructure as well as agriculture, and caused the evacuation of many residents. On just the Whittier fire alone there are 1,924 firefighters and other personnel from around the state with 145 fire engines, 39 fire crews, 18 bulldozers, and 16 helicopters. It cannot be underestimated how valuable the coordinated efforts among Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, Santa Barbara County Sheriffs, Santa Barbara County and City Fire Departments, the Goleta Water District, the state and federal agencies, including CHP, CalFire, and Caltrans, and utility companies, both Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric, have been for our entire community. I am thankful to our brave first responders and other firefighters who have traveled from throughout the state to put their lives on the line to help control this fire and protect the people who live here. I also want to thank the American Red Cross and the Humane Society for their efforts towards helping evacuees and their animals.
As I surveyed the impact the Whittier Fire has already caused, including the terrifying scene where so many children had to shelter in place and the remains of the outdoor education center, I was reminded of the immense pride we all share for our community. For my part, I will continue to work closely with state and local officials, my legislative colleagues, and the Administration to make certain the State of California fulfills its commitment to Santa Barbara in a timely and efficient manner."

To see the county's full declaration, click here. The emergency proclamation by the governor can be found here

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