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Bucket Brigade launches the Alisal Fire Assistance Project

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The heroic and ubiquitous Bucket Brigade crew is behind a new effort to help those impacted by the October Alisal Fire above the Gaviota Coast.

13 structures were destroyed or damaged in the nearly 17,000 acre fire.

Unlike the 2017 mega-Thomas Fire that burned nearly 282,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, the Alisal Fire was deemed to be too small for a state or federal disaster declaration.

Abe Powell, Bucket Brigade Co-Founder and Executive Director, issued a news release updating the public on a newly launched relief effort.

"Without a disaster declaration, the usual post-disaster public funding, grants, loans and resources are not available to the survivors of the Alisal Fire."

Powell stated that to make matters worse, many of the survivors in the Alisal event lost their insurance coverage after the Thomas Fire.

Along with financial concerns, those living in or near the burn zone face numerous environmental hazards.

"The ash and debris left in the wake of a structure fire are full of toxic materials like asbestos, heavy metals and dioxin that represent a health hazard to the property owners, their neighbors and the surrounding community.  Because the structures lost in the Alisal Fire were sited next to Refugio Creek, or in the Refugio Creek watershed, it is important to remove this debris as quickly as possible, before wind and winter storms spread the asbestos, ash and toxins into the creek, the local water supply and the ocean."

A group of local organizations, including Heal the Ocean and Channelkeeper, have joined forces to create the Alisal Fire Assistance Project.

The goal is to help those who've lost their homes or suffered damage to properties. And, raise funds to haul out toxic ash and debris left behind so it doesn't seep into nearby creeks and the ocean during heavy rains.

Click here for more information or to make a donation.

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here

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