Riverside County proclaimed a local emergency today because of the Silver Fire, a step that could make the county eligible to receive disaster funds if state and federal officials recognize the emergency and make assistance available.
On Wednesday night, county officials also received word that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had approved the county's request for a federal management assistance grant. The grant helps the county recover direct suppression costs for expenses such as firefighters and emergency support operations.
With the proclamation declared Thursday, the county could be eligible to receive reimbursement for the costs of the emergency response if funding becomes available, a process that can take months. By Thursday morning, the fire south of Banning had burned about 10,000 acres. The proclamation notes that the fire poses extreme dangers to people and property in the Poppet Flats, Twin Pines, Silent Valley and Cabazon areas, and surrounding communities. County Executive Officer Jay Orr signed the proclamation Thursday morning because the Board of Supervisors was not in session. The proclamation will go to the Board at its next regular meeting to be ratified.