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Secretary Nielsen Tours Wildfire Devastation In California

Release Date: 
January 3, 2018

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON – This week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to California to tour areas impacted by the devastating wildfires. In California, Secretary Nielsen pledged the federal government’s support to help rebuild affected communities.

On Tuesday, January 2, Secretary Nielsen was in Ventura where she took an overflight of areas impacted by the Thomas Fire, received a briefing from federal, state, county, and local officials on wildfire response and recovery efforts, and met with families affected by the Thomas Fire. In Ventura, Secretary Nielsen announced that in response to the devastation, the president declared a major disaster for the counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara.

On Wednesday, January 3, Secretary Nielsen was in Sonoma County where she visited neighborhoods impacted by the Tubbs Fire, received a briefing from federal, state, county, and local officials on wildfire response and recovery efforts, and met with Federal and State employees.

“Seeing the devastation, I am deeply moved and inspired by the heroic men and women who have been battling multiple catastrophic wildfires,” said Secretary Nielsen. “Countless communities across the state have faced the devastating impact of these fires, and we’re both proud of—and grateful for—our brave first responders. As the people of California begin to rebuild what these fires have destroyed, the federal government and FEMA are committed to supporting state and local authorities throughout the recovery process. We can—and we will—rebuild California together.”

Secretary Nielsen took an aerial survey of areas impacted by the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history.

Secretary Nielsen took an aerial survey of areas impacted by the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

Secretary Nielsen received a briefing on the Thomas Fire in the Emergency Operations Center in Ventura. Regional Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX Robert J. Fenton, Jr. and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci attended the briefing.

Secretary Nielsen received a briefing on the Thomas Fire in the Emergency Operations Center in Ventura. Regional Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX Robert J. Fenton, Jr. and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci attended the briefing. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

Secretary Nielsen visited with Mark West Union School District Superintendent Ron Colloway.

Secretary Nielsen visited with Mark West Union School District Superintendent Ron Colloway. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

Secretary Nielsen met with the City of Santa Rosa Fire Chief Anthony Gossner. Fire Station 5 was burned to the ground on October 8 along with 1,519 homes in Fountaingrove.

Secretary Nielsen met with the City of Santa Rosa Fire Chief Anthony Gossner. Fire Station 5 was burned to the ground on October 8 along with 1,519 homes in Fountaingrove. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

Secretary Nielsen thanked the hardworking men and women who are working on one of the largest debris clearing missions in California history.

Secretary Nielsen thanked the hardworking men and women who are working on one of the largest debris clearing missions in California history. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

Additionally, Secretary Nielsen received a briefing on the fires with Alexis Strauss, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Regional Administrator and Colonel Eric McFadden, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commander, South Pacific Division, Regional Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX Robert J. Fenton, Jr., and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci. Secretary Nielsen concluded her trip in Coffey Park where the Tubbs Fire destroyed 1,347 homes in October.

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Last Published Date: August 14, 2018
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