Gov. Jerry Brown declares state of emergency in San Diego County due to fires

SAN DIEGO - Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in San Diego County following several brush fires in the region.

San Diego County declared a local emergency and requested that Brown proclaim a state of emergency.

The state Office of Emergency Services announced Wednesday evening that federal aid will be made available to authorities fighting the Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad after the county's declaration. 

A fire management assistance grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the majority of firefighting costs for responding local, state and tribal agencies at the blaze, according to the state OES.

"We welcome FEMA's approval of Governor (Jerry) Brown's request for assistance," said state OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. "Fires like the Poinsettia Fire can put a strain on resources, particularly at a time when dry conditions due to the drought, above normal temperatures and winds have increased the wildfire threat significantly."

Wind-driven wildfires tore through sections of Bonsall, Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Lakeside, Oceanside, San Marcos and Scripps Ranch, destroying an unknown number of structures, scorching hundreds of acres of rugged terrain and prompting thousands of residents and employees of businesses to evacuate.

Agencies can to apply for a 75 percent reimbursement of costs related to mobilization, demobilization, travel and labor. Equipment and supply use, administrative activities and other fire-related costs are also eligible for reimbursement.

Responding local, state and tribal agencies are responsible for the remaining 25 percent of their costs.

"Conditions throughout the state that are likely to get worse, rather than better, as the fire season continues and the federal assistance provided in this grant is critical in addressing these types of disasters," Ghilarducci said.

On Tuesday, flames scorched nearly 1,600 acres between 4S Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe. That fire prompted an emergency declaration for San Diego by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

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