09.15.09

Schiff Writes to U.S. Small Business Administrator to Request Disaster Assistance for Station Fire Victims

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Schiff Writes to U.S. Small Business Administrator to Request Disaster Assistance for Station Fire Victims

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Adam Schiff and nine Congressional colleagues wrote to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills in support of California’s request for a disaster declaration from the SBA, in the aftermath of the Station Fire.  The SBA disaster assistance provides low interest federal loans to victims of disasters to help replace and rebuild damaged property not fully covered by insurance.    

“The SBA’s disaster assistance loans are one of the most effective ways to help get wildfire victims back on their feet,” said Schiff. “I saw firsthand the catastrophic damaged caused by the Station Fire and there is no doubt that the SBA’s disaster assistance is necessary and would go a long way in helping Southern California recover.” 

On August 26, a fire broke out in the Angeles National Forest, north of La Cañada Flintridge, and was subsequently named the Station Fire.  The incident has ravaged over 160,000 acres of land and has thus far destroyed 89 residences and 26 commercial properties. On September 10, the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) along with the SBA, completed a survey to determine the extent of the fire damage.  The study revealed that the local wildfires met the minimum criteria for a SBA disaster declaration and Governor Schwarzenegger has sent a request to the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance.

SBA loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations.  These loans can be used to replace or repair damaged property owned by victims including real estate, personal property, automobiles, inventories, supplies, and equipment. 

Below is the full text of the letter sent to the SBA Administrator.

September 15, 2009


Ms. Karen G. Mills
Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 Third Street, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20416-0011

Dear Administrator Mills:

We write to you as members of the House of Representatives’ California delegation in support of the State of California’s request for a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as a result of the recent wildfires in Los Angeles County. 

On August 26, a fire broke out in the Angeles National Forest, north of La Cañada Flintridge, and was subsequently named the Station Fire.  The incident has ravaged over 160,000 acres of land and has thus far destroyed 89 residences and 26 commercial properties.  Sadly, the disaster has also claimed the lives of two of our bravest firefighters, who perished in the line of duty.  Firefighters have done a tremendous job of protecting lives, property and the environment.  Officials estimate that they will have full containment of the incident by September 19, 2009.

On September 10, the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), along with the SBA, completed a survey to determine the extent of the fire damage.  The study revealed that the local wildfires met the minimum criteria for an SBA disaster declaration and Governor Schwarzenegger sent a request to the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance.  We ask that full and speedy consideration be extended to this request; so that we are able to do all we can to assist the residents in the recovery process.

We appreciate your support as we go through this difficult process.

Sincerely,