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Federal disaster aid available for survivors of Northern California wildfires

Families and business owners who have been financially impacted by a cluster of wildfires in Northern California can apply for federal disaster assistance, funding that was released by President Donald Trump over the course of of the weekend.

Trump approved federal aid on Saturday, the same day he issued a disaster declaration in California due to fires, the first of which broke out on August 14.

Residents of Sonoma, Lake, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Monterey, and Yolo counties can apply for federal grants. The money can be used to cover uninsured and underinsured property losses and other disaster-related costs like home repairs and funeral or medical expenses, FEMA said.

Low-interest loans through the Small Business Administration are also available to business owners affected by wildfires.

More than two dozen major fires have broken out across the state since the recent lightning siege, Cal Fire said.

A group of regional fires known as the LNU Lightning Complex includes the Walbridge Fire which continues to burn in western Sonoma County and the Meyers Fire north of Jenner which was nearly fully contained Monday night.

Families and contractors wishing to receive federal fire damage assistance must register with assistancecatastrophe.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585, FEMA said.

They will need several documents to enroll, including social security number, insurance policy information, address of damaged or destroyed property, checking or savings account routing and numbers account, and the total annual household income.

The Federal Disaster Management Agency recommends that individuals contact their insurance company before filing a claim for disaster assistance. They must also photograph and film the damage and keep all receipts for subsequent home repairs related to the wildfire.

You can contact editor Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or [email protected] On Twitter @nashellytweets.