Alisal Fire | Credit: Erick Madrid (file)

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara and Monterey counties on July 1 to aid in the process of recovering from two significant wildfires. 

The Alisal Fire began on October 11, 2021, in the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County and burned nearly 17,000 acres, shutting down the U.S. 101 for several days. The Colorado Fire in Monterey County broke out on January 21 of this year in the Palo Colorado Canyon, where it destroyed more than 600 acres and shut down Highway 1. 

The proclamation allows the California Department of Transportation to request immediate federal assistance for repairs or reconstruction of highways damaged by the Alisal or Colorado fires.

In Santa Barbara County, the California Office of Emergency Services will assist the county in the recovery process, and will make it easier for anyone experiencing unemployment due to the Alisal Fire to get unemployment benefits.  

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