FEMA awards $3.5 million to local Dixie Fire victims

  In the five months since the Dixie fire roared through six northern California counties, destroying most of Greenville, Indian Falls and Canyon Dam, some money to assist victims is flowing back.

  Plumas County residents have received $3,595,155 — the bulk of the $4,605,930 awarded in individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Dixie Fire losses. The rest has been distributed to residents of Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Tehama and Trinity counties.

  In Plumas County, 352 people have been helped financially for critical needs, housing, rental or repair. The 275 local residents who qualified for the individual and housing program can use it for lodging, rental, repair and replacement of household items, said John Chavez, a FEMA voluntary agency liaison group supervisor.

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  “That’s a huge amount of money for this rural area,” said Sue Weber, co-chair of the Dixie Fire Collaborative, a group of local volunteers, state and federal emergency organizations coordinating rebuilding activities.

  These awardees include 90 homeowners and 185 renters. Over a third are over 60 years old, Chavez said.

  Lassen County has received a total of $72,887, Nevada $409,805, Placer $197,719, Tehama $37,444, and Trinity $292,920. This is grant money that does not have to be repaid, Chavez said.

  Of those in Plumas County receiving FEMA emergency funds, 55 were awarded the maximum amount of $36,000. Throughout the six counties, 70 individuals received the maximum FEMA award for a collective total of $2,520,000.

  Plumas County reflects a pattern throughout the six-county Dixie fire area, where 95 percent of FEMA applicants are not insured. Fewer than five percent of the Plumas County applicants had insurance, Chavez said.

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  Registration for FEMA assistance ended November 30, 2021, but Chavez said the agency will accept appeals of its decisions for up to 60 days. The FEMA help line is (800) 621-3362, open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.