Fire Has County Tapping Reserves

Feb 25, 2020

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.
Credit Noah Berger / AP Photo

Elected leaders in Butte County will consider dipping into fiscal reserves today as Camp Fire related expenses keep piling up.


At their meeting this morning, the Board of Supervisors will be asked to transfer about a quarter of reserve funds — $1 million — to cover expenses related to the Camp Fire.

The county stepped in financially to help operate campgrounds for survivors in the fire’s wake. The county also laid out the money to remove dead or fire-damaged trees posing a hazard to the public. State and federal sources may reimburse more than 97 percent of what the county spent, but officials say their unlikely to recoup it during the current fiscal year.


In other fire-related action, the board is expected to extend the debris removal deadline for those using private contractors to April 30th. Currently, it’s February 29th.


Officials say work is underway at 145 properties, and is unlikely to be completed in time.


The board is also expected to approve a $1.5 million contract to repave two and a half miles of Hegan Lane, between the Union Pacific tracks and Dayton Road.


Additionally, the board will receive a presentation about vaping, flavored tobacco health and young people. Some local jurisdictions in the county have been restricting access.


Also, the board is expected to accept the donation of a year-old $1.5 million helicopter for the sheriff’s office from a foundation operated by Howard Buffet, a son of investor Warren Buffet. The donation will replace a nearly 25 year old unit.


The meeting gets underway at 9 this morning in the board chambers in Oroville.