active disaster quick links

National Disaster

Legal Aid

California Wildfires 2021

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES 2021

Disaster Legal Hotline: 888-382-3406

Wildfires affected areas in California beginning on July 14, 2021 and continuingOn August 24, 2021, a Major Disaster Declaration was issued for the state of California, making federal funding available to individuals and households who sustained damage as a result of the wildfires. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. People in the following areas are eligible to receive federal disaster assistance. Additional areas may be designated later. Please check here for updates.

  • Lassen County
  • Nevada County
  • Placer County
  • Plumas County
  • Tehama County*
  • Trinity County*

 

Counties marked with an asterisk * were added on September 20, 2021.

For this disaster (DR-4610), assistance for affected individuals and families is available and people are urged to apply through FEMA.

Disaster Number: 4610

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

FEMA Application Deadline Saturday, October 23, 2021
Appeal Your FEMA Decision

If you would like to appeal FEMA's determination on assistance, you have 60 days from the date on the determination letter to do so.


Key resources for those impacted by this disaster

GOVERNMENT DISASTER RELIEF BENEFITS

Residents and businesses affected by this disaster can apply for government disaster relief benefits in several ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • On the FEMA Mobile App,
  • Text “DRC” and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) to locate a Disaster Recovery Center in your area (standard message and data rates apply), or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages. 
  • For official news and press releases related to this disaster, please visit FEMA's News & Updates section
  • Note: Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster loan process.
  • Download this quick guide for an overview on the disaster assistance process.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES

  • A LEGAL AID HOTLINE is now available for survivors in California who cannot pay for an attorney:
    • Survivors may CALL 888-382-3406 to request assistance. Callers may also leave a message.
    • Click here for the full press release. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with California lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal limited help.
  • DISABILITY AND DISASTER HOTLINE: 1-800-626-4959
    • The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies hosts this hotline that provides information, referrals, guidance, technical assistance and resources to people with disabilities, their families, allies, organizations assisting disaster impacted individuals with disabilities and others seeking assistance with immediate and urgent disaster-related needs. The Disaster Hotline is always available for intake calls, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You may also email info@disasterstrategies.org for assistance.
  • For legal assistance and other helpful recovery information, you can visit:  
    • www.disasterlegalservicesca.org - DLAC is a coalition of organizations and law firms in Northern California working together to offer free legal services to the communities in the aftermath of natural disasters. Survivors of disasters such as wildfires face a wide variety of legal and financial needs ranging from insurance claim assistance to requests for government programs such as FEMA assistance.
    • www.LawHelpCA.org - This statewide website, hosted by the Legal Aid Association of California, provides information about common legal issues in addition to disaster relief information. It also has an updated directory of pre-screened organizations that offer free or lowcost legal advice and representation.
    • Legal Services of Northern California - Free civil legal services for low-income individuals. Contact: 1-800-660-3458 or emaildisasterhelp@lsnc.net. If you have access to the internet, we encourage you to go to ca.freelegalanswers.org, where low-income people can get free legal advice online.
    • United Policyholders (UP) is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) consumer advocacy group that specializes in helping disaster victims with insurance claim issues. UP also trains case managers and legal aid lawyers to assist clients with insurance and recovery matters. For help with flood, wind, hurricane, and auto insurance questions.
    • ABA Disaster Legal Services Program: Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA Young Lawyers Division (ABA-YLD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Please visit their page here for other disaster recovery resources.
  • If you need to appeal a FEMA denial on your own, please see here to get an interactive form to appeal and letter requesting a copy of your file.

  • For Frequently Asked Questions about FEMA appeals, please click here.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest on the News page.
  • Help After a Disaster: FEMA's Guide for the Individual Applicants
  • You might get a call about applying for an SBA loan.  Listen!
  • Do you need help understanding the FEMA application and appeals process? Click here to download "Figuring Out FEMA," a friendly guide that explains FEMA's general disaster relief assistance process. 

OTHER RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP

ARE YOU AN ATTORNEY WHO CAN HELP? 

  • Familiarize yourself with the resources and trainings available at https://www.disasterlegalaid.org/trainings/.
  • Bookmark United Policyholder's (UP) website and resources, including the Roadmap to Recovery and Advocacy and Action. UP's mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and an effective voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states.
  • Consider joining the National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center to connect with other attorneys and advocates responding to natural disasters. The Center offers monthly training calendar emails, specialized advocacy resources, a member roster, and discussion lists you can sign up for.