Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Miriam Raftery

May 27, 2014 (San Diego)--The wildfires that destroyed 65 homes this month, leading to a state disaster declaration for our region, also took a heavy toll on local governments’ budgets.

The cost to local governments for emergency responses, firefighting and recovery from the disastrous wildfires is an estimated $27.9 million, the County of San Diego announced Friday. Private property owners suffered an additional estimated $29.8 million in losses.

County officials compiled and submitted the preliminary figures to the State of California this week as part of a disaster reimbursement process.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob thanked Governor Jerry Brown for moving so swiftly to declare a state of emergency in San Diego County.  Now the County has requested additional assistance from Gov. Brown to help reimburse local agencies for their emergency costs out of the California Disaster Assistance Act monies.

Many area agencies pitched in. They sent firefighters to the front lines, law enforcement personnel to assist with evacuations, public works crews to close roads and assess damage and employees to staff emergency operations centers around the clock.

The biggest costs were associated with responding to the Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad. The City of Carlsbad estimates $12.5 million in costs to fight that fire, staff the City’s Emergency Operations Center and much more. The City estimates another $8 million in costs to restore habitat and control erosion as a result of the fire.

The Cocos Fire cost the City of San Marcos an estimated $10.4 million. That includes $6.2 million in estimated firefighting-related costs and $2.5 million in costs to stabilize and control erosion of now barren hillsides near residential areas.

The County of San Diego estimates $3.2 million in preliminary costs related to multiple fires. That includes about $1.2 million in Sheriff’s-related expenses, including the cost of Sheriff's deputies conducting evacuations, traffic control and other law enforcement services and the operation of firefighting and law enforcement helicopters.

The City of San Diego’s preliminary cost is $1.3 million related to multiple fires.

These estimates are calculated by local agencies and do not include the cost of lost business due to the wildfires, or the costs to area school districts, for example.

When it came to private property, Carlsbad saw an estimated $12 million in losses. The following structures were destroyed: five homes, 18 apartment units and one commercial building. In addition, four homes and one commercial building sustained major damage and 22 residences sustained minor damage.

San Marcos estimated nearly $2.2 million in private property damage. The Cocos Fire was responsible for the destruction of five homes and minor damage at another five homes there.

Unincorporated County area saw an estimated $15.6 million in private property damage. A total of 34 homes, one business and 15 outbuildings were destroyed. Another two homes saw major damage and six outbuildings sustained minor damage.

SDCountyRecovery.com has more information on the recovery process. ReadySanDiego.org can help you prepare for emergencies.


Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.