CalVet Ready to Help Veterans Affected by Wildfires

Members of Ventura City Fire battle the Holser Fire near Lake Piru in early August 2020. Photo courtesy of Ventura City Fire.

As Californians once again begin to recover from catastrophic wildfires throughout the state, the California Department of Veterans Affairs stands ready to assist veterans affected by the blazes.

Click here to visit CalVet’s wildfires page, which provides important information, including a list of Local Assistance Centers open in affected areas, links, and contacts for veterans.

Veterans who suffer losses or damages (including smoke damage) due to fire can receive information regarding benefits by contacting one of the Local Interagency Network Coordinators (LINC) in the eight regions throughout the state. Click here for a listing and contact information for the LINC in each specific region.

For Ventura County, please contact Anthony Rodriguez on his cell at (213) 342-7741 or by email at LALINC@calvet.ca.gov.

Veterans with CalVet Homes Loans who evacuate or lose their home to fire may be eligible for temporary housing and expenses. If you are a property owner with a CalVet Home Loan with CalVet’s fire and hazard coverage and you experienced property loss or were required to evacuate your home, please contact our Claims Adjuster’s 24-hour hotline at (800) 626-1613. If you have questions about your homeowner insurance, please call the CalVet Home Protection Unit, Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (866) 421-6978.

Another resource is the local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO). Although many locations across the state are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, assistance is available through e-mail and by calling. Contact information for each CVSO is available online in the newly updated eighth edition of CalVet’s California Veterans Resource Book. Hard copies of the book will become available in November 2020.

As of August 2020, the Ventura County Veterans Service Office continues to remain closed to the public due to COVID-19. For assistance, please call their main office at 805-477-5155.

Thus far, during the 2020 fire season, CAL FIRE reports that, throughout the state, 7,099 wild fires have burned more than 1.6 million acres, with seven confirmed deaths, and more than 2,400 structures damanged or destroyed. California’s fire season traditionally winds down after October, the month when five of California’s top 10 most destructive fires occurred; though the deadly Camp (Paradise) and Woolsey fires happened in November 2018.

Three fires in Northern California alone – the SCU Lightning Complex fire west of Patterson, the LNU Lightning Complex fire in Napa and Sonoma counties, and the CZU Lightning fire in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties – have combined to kill six people, injured nine people, burned more than 818,500 acres, and destroyed or damaged more than 1,900 homes and other structures.

Source: CalVet Connect article from August 30, 2020