Many agencies help those in need after Thomas fire

Local, state and federal officials hold open house

Thomas fire help has been offered to those impacted (John Palminteri/KEYT photo)

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Several agencies have come together to help those in need after the recent Thomas fire incident on the South Coast.

The fire is still burning in the upper reaches of  Ventura County but the front country hills around Montecito and Carpinteria are cool, with no visible smoke or risks.

The four hour event took place in Carpinteria at the Community Church hall.

Office of Emergency Services Director Robert Lewin says the county will try to have answers for anyone who is in a need ranging from something small on their property to a full scale clean up and rebuilding effort.

"We want to take care of the whole issue for survivors," said Lewin. He said they need to "take care of issues for survivors."

Those offering services included local, state, federal and business services.  They were far reaching with representatives from the Department of Motor Vehicles and Senator Diane Feinstein's office set up near the American Red Cross.

Pet services were also available including a therapy dog.

One man who lost a rental unit and his repair shop full of tools says he was there to ask questions about rebuilding, coverage and permits in the Toro Canyon area.

David Chamlee said  "basically I just wanted to see what is available to put the thing back together again and put it back to normal. Everyone I have talked to is as helpful as they can be and if they don't know about it they will tell you."

Environmental officials say hazardous waste is a priority to clean up.

Paul McCaw with Santa Barbara County Environmental Health said residents will have the options "to work with a state or local agency on the clean up or hire a private contractor to do the over all clean up. " He said the agency has to inspect the property for hazardous waste and sign it off.

NewsChannel 3 will have more coverage of clean up operations and government help next week with special reports, web stories and social media posts.

More Thomas Fire information can be found here: http://countyofsb.org/thomasfire.sbc


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