Wildfires spark State of Emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey Counties

A wildfire burns in the Palo Colorado Canyon in the scenic Big Sur region of California's Central Coast, Monday, July 25, 2016. Fire crews have made some gains against a massive wildfire burning in rugged terrain near the scenic Big Sur region. (David Royal/The Monterey County Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

SACRAMENTO (KRON) — Acting Governor Tom Torlakson issued emergency proclamations for Los Angeles and Monterey counties due to the effects of the Sand and Soberanes fires on Tuesday.

The fires have burned tens of thousands of acres of land, threatened thousands of homes and other structures and caused the evacuation of residents.

Torlakson proclaimed:

WHEREAS on July 22, 2016, the Sand Fire started in the Santa Clarita area of Los Angeles County, has rapidly burned tens of thousands of acres of land, and continues to burn; and

WHEREAS this fire has destroyed more than eighteen homes and continues to threaten thousands of structures, including additional homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents; and

WHEREAS the Sand Fire has caused power outages, disruption of rail and highway transportation, and air quality issues in the area surrounding the fire and throughout Los Angeles County; and

WHEREAS a Federal Fire Management Assistance Grant has been requested and approved for the Sand Fire burning in Los Angeles County; and

WHEREAS on January 17, 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared a State of Emergency based on the extreme drought that has caused millions of trees to die, and increased the severity and spread of fires throughout the State; and

WHEREAS the circumstances of this fire by reason of its magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist in California due to this fire; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the California Government Code, I find that strict compliance with various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of this fire.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TOM TORLAKSON, Acting Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in Los Angeles County.

Torlakson orders:

1. All agencies of the state government shall utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan. Also, all citizens are to heed the advice of emergency officials with regard to this emergency in order to protect their safety.

2. Health and Safety Code sections 103525.5 and 103625, and Penal Code section 14251, requiring the imposition of fees, are hereby suspended with regard to any request for copies of certificates of birth, death, marriage, and dissolution of marriage records, by any individual who lost such records as a result of the fire. Such copies shall be provided without charge.

3. Vehicle Code sections 9265(a), 9867, 14901, 14902 and 15255.2, requiring the imposition of fees, are suspended with regard to any request for replacement of a driver’s license, identification card, vehicle registration certificate, or certificate of title, by any individual who lost such records as a result of the wildfire. Such records shall be replaced without charge.

4. The provisions of Vehicle Code sections 4602 and 5902, requiring the timely registration or transfer of title, are suspended with regard to any registration or transfer of title by any residents of Los Angeles County who are unable to comply with those requirements as a result of the fire. The time covered by this suspension shall not be included in calculating any late penalty pursuant to Vehicle Code section 9554.

5. The provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code section 1253 imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are suspended as to all applicants who are unemployed as a direct result of the fire, who apply for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning July 22, 2016, and ending on the close of business on January 22, 2017, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in California.

6. The Office of Emergency Services shall determine if local government assistance for Los Angeles County is appropriate under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act, California Government Code section 8680 et seq. and California Code of Regulations, title 19, section 2900 et seq.

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