Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 7:11 pm | Fair 75º


Limón to Co-chair Assembly Natural Disaster Committee

Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) has been 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," Limón said.

"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,” she said.

“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," Limón said.

Natural disaster responders and weather scientists have reported increasingly long fire seasons, nearly year-round in many parts of the state, Limón said.

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, Limón's office reports.
The Thomas Fire started Dec. 4, and burned for more than a month, consuming 281,893 acres, destroying 1,063 structures and killing two people before it was contained on Jan. 12.

Before the Thomas Fire reached full containment, the 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 (D-Marin County), whose district faced devastation from the northern California Tubbs Fire, the select committee will begin meeting in the next few months, Limón's office said.

“Recovering from the most devastating fires in California’s history will take leadership and focusing the Legislature’s attention on this challenge is critical as we rebuild,” Levine said.

The 2017 California wildfires season was the most destructive and costly on record. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimates a total of 9,054 fires burned 1,381,405 acres.

According to reports, 10,780 structures were destroyed by fires in 2017, while more than 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.

Limón represents the 37th Assembly District which includes Santa Barbara, Ventura, Goleta, Carpinteria, Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Buellton, Solvang, Summerland, Isla Vista, Montecito and parts of Oxnard.

She currently serves as chair of the Assembly banking and finance committee.


— Denise Tugade for Assemblymember Monique Limón.


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