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Wildfire costs estimated to top $57 million

Last week's county wildfires cost taxpayers and residents nearly $60 million in losses, firefighting and other expenses, according to the county of San Diego.

County officials have submitted preliminary figures to the state government as part of a disaster reimbursement process.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state emergency last week, based on a request by the county, which declared a local emergency.

The state declaration provided access to federal funding that would help local agencies fight the fires.

The county has also requested assistance from the state to help reimburse local agencies for emergency costs out of the California Disaster Assistance Act.

Money received from the state through CDAA will help affected governments in San Diego County to offset fire response and recovery costs.

"I am hopeful the governor will give this request careful consideration and approve the financial assistance to help cover the cost of these major wildfires," County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

The county said the biggest costs were associated with responding to the Poinsettia Fire in Carlsbad, estimated at $12.5 million, which included the direct costs of fighting the fire as well as staffing the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

Habitat restoration costs and post-fire erosion control costs are estimated to be about $8 million.

The city of San Marcos used or will use an estimated $10.4 million in resources fighting the Cocos Fire and its effects -- including $6.2 million in estimated firefighting-related costs and $2.5 million to stabilize and control erosion of now-barren hillsides near storm drains, and residential or recreational areas.

Preliminary costs incurred by the county of San Diego are estimated at $3.2 million. About $1.2 million of that is in sheriff's department-related expenses, including the cost of deputies to conduct evacuations, traffic control and other law enforcement services.

San Marcos contracts with the county Sheriff's Department for its law enforcement. The sheriff also provided the use of its helicopters through its Air Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies program.

The city of San Diego’s preliminary cost was estimated at $1.3 million, related to multiple fires.

Outside of the county's reimbursement requests, private property loss was estimated at about $29.8 million.

Carlsbad saw an estimated $12 million in private property losses, according to the county -- including five homes, 18 apartment units and one commercial building.

Another four homes and a commercial building sustained major damage, while 22 residences sustained minor damage.

San Marcos estimated nearly $2.2 million in private property damage. The Cocos Fire destroyed five homes and caused minor damage at another five.

Unincorporated areas in the county saw an estimated $15.6 million in private property damage, with 34 homes, one business and 15 outbuildings destroyed.

Another two homes saw major damage and six outbuildings sustained minor damage.

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