State and federal programs are available to help offset the costs associated with fire preparation and recovery. These programs are available to individuals, communities, non-profits, and businesses. Programs vary from compensation, cost-share, loans, to tax relief.
If you produce and sell agricultural products (including field crops, orchards, livestock, timber, and others), contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency as soon as possible to help navigate their immediate assistance programs, cost-share, loans, and compensation for disasters. You may need to notify them of losses within a very short time after a disaster.
Social service benefits for fire recovery
CA Department of Social Services, State Supplemental Grant Program provides grant assistance through the State Supplemental Grant Program (SSGP).
Federal and state tax relief and extensions for fire recovery
Most qualify for tax extension and relief for home, structure, agricultural, and timber loss or damage.
Cost-share for fire preparation and recovery
There are many sources of cost-sharing aid to help you prepare your lands or restore your lands from fire although they rarely provide immediate aid. Some programs may allow you to start work before the award is finalized.
USDA Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) A cost-share program for working landscapes that can address fire preparation or damage, including fuel reduction, reforestation, soil erosion control and water quality protection often on parcels 1 acre or more, or with smaller parcels with natural resource concerns. Neighbors can collaborate to meet acreage requirements.
USDA Catastrophic Fire Recovery EQIP Fund Pool A cost-share program for working landscapes that can addresses fire recovery. Fire recovery may be cost-shared up to 90% often on parcels 1 acre or more, or smaller parcels with natural resource concerns. Neighbors can collaborate to meet acreage requirements.
Cal Fire California Forest Improvement Program (CFIP) A cost-share program for forest lands from 20 to 5,000 acres that address long-term forest management infrastructure that support society’s values of clean water, wildlife, fiber production and watershed protection, and fuels management. CFIP has a higher reimbursement rate for fire recovery than for preparation. Neighbors cannot collaborate to meet acreage requirements.
Cal Fire Forest Health Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (Forest Health GHG) A cost-share program for landscape-scale forest management, from 10,000 acres, projects to proactively restore forest health in order to reduce greenhouse gases, to protect upper watersheds. Neighbors and communities can collaborate to meet acreage requirements.
USDA FSA Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) provides cost-share to eligible owners of non-industrial private forest (NIPF) land in order to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster.
Loans for fire preparation and recovery
USDA Rural Development: Low-interest loans for low-income individuals, communities, and non-profits to make their homes, community centers, or offices more fire resistant or to rebuild and restore homes, community centers, or offices after fire.
USDA FSA Emergency Loan Program to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine.
California IBank: Low interest and state-guaranteed business loans and microloans affected by the fires. Small businesses, including small farms, nurseries, agriculture-related enterprises and nonprofits that have suffered an economic loss and/or physical damage may apply for the Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program (DRLGP) which offers loans up to $1 million for Disaster Relief Borrowers. IBank is offering micro loans from $500 to $10,000 to businesses in declared disaster and emergency areas through its Jump Start Loan Program.
Small Business Assocation's (SBA) Disaster Loans: Three step process to obtaining a very low interest loan for homeowners, renters and businesses. Free to apply, no obligation to take out loan if approved, but if deadline is missed, you won't have an opportunity to apply. Pro tip: apply for the loan and if you need it, it will be there. Apply online at SBA's secure website. SBA is a federal program. Not available for ag enterprises.
Compensation for commercial agricultural losses from USDA FSA
Uninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) financial compensation to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevents crop planting.
Tree Assistance Program (TAP) financial compensation to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters.
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by eligible loss conditions, including eligible adverse weather, eligible disease and eligible attacks.
Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) grazing losses due to a qualifying drought condition during the normal grazing period for the county.
Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm Raised Fish (ELAP) losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs.
2017 Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) covers loss of producers during 2017 disasters.