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Wildfires


Wildfires

California wildfires (2018)

Secretary Azar used his authority in the Public Health Service Act to declare a public health emergency (PHE) in California on November 13, 2018, giving us the flexibility to support our beneficiaries, effective November 8, 2018. 

Read the blanket waivers for California wildfires 

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Southern & Northern California wildfires (2017)

Southern California has four large wildfires that continue to impact people and homes. The Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties is the fifth largest fire in California history. These fires affected critical cellular and public safety communications infrastructure, power transmission and distribution lines, high-pressure natural gas lines, and oil wells. Additionally, the watershed for the cities of Ojai and Ventura were impacted. A Public Health Emergency (PHE) Declaration and a Social Security Act waiver were issued for California on December 11, 2017, with a finding that a public health emergency existed beginning on December 4, 2017. This PHE declaration and waiver authority for the Southern California wildfires expired on March 3, 2018.

Northern California wildfires burned across several California counties, threatening the lives of tens of thousands of people. A Public Health Emergency (PHE) Declaration and a Social Security Act waiver were issued for California on October 15, 2017, with a finding that a public health emergency existed beginning on October 8, 2017. This PHE declaration and waiver authority for the Northern California wildfires expired on January 5, 2018.

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