FEMA - Gridley Camp Fire Community

Most Destructive Fire in California History

The Camp Wildfire is considered the most destructive wildfire in California’s history, burning nearly 154,000 acres for 17 days, claiming at least 85 lives, destroying nearly 13,972 residences, and leaving homeless over 30,000 of our Butte County neighbors.  Tireless Gridley volunteers of all ages have provided their time and generous contributions to assist Red Cross sanctioned fire evacuees.  Experienced Red Cross and FEMA leaders have underscored that the Gridley/Biggs communities have been unrivaled supporters of those in need.  

The State of California has proclaimed an emergency, declaring the provision of housing as a state priority.  The City of Gridley is committed to assisting FEMA registered residents of Paradise and other impacted communities.  In order to be registered with FEMA, individuals and families must clearly identify fire damages at their official addresses. FEMA registration requirements far exceed Red Cross shelter requirements.

There is an unprecedented number of Fire Survivors in need of quality temporary housing. The Gridley City Council is committed to providing high quality temporary housing options for residents of Butte County displaced by the catastrophic and devastating “Camp Fire".  Gridley is closely coordinating with our local partners including the Gridley Unified School District, Paradise, Chico, Oroville, and Butte County; as well as the State of California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide high quality temporary housing solutions.

Gridley Camp Fire Community

The City Council has demonstrated a commitment to gathering community input.  The City Council conducted community meetings on December 17, 2018, December 28, 2018, and January 7, 2019 regarding the potential temporary community for registered FEMA Camp Fire Survivors at the City owned Industrial Park.  A copy of the lease agreement was provided to Council and the public for review and discussion.  During the December 17th Council meeting the City Council authorized the City Attorney and City Administrator to negotiate a lease agreement with the Unites States General Services Agency (GSA) for an 18 to 24-month lease of the City Industrial Park for the purposes of Modular Housing Units to meet the needs of pre-screened and qualified registrants with high quality temporary housing.  The City Council accepted the final lease with the United States Government at the January 7, 2019 Council meeting, allowing the "Gridley Camp Fire Community" to be built.

The Gridley Camp Fire Community started housing Fire Survivors in July, 2019.  FEMA attempts to place survivors in units and locations that fit their needs in a timely manner. Unit sizes and site locations are selected based on the preplacement interview conducted by FEMA with the survivor.  During the selection process the need to be near schools, work, medical and essential support network is part of the selection when placing someone in a Temporary Housing Unit. There is no need for a survivor to contact FEMA to express a location preference. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

The following FAQ's regarding the potential temporary Gridley Camp Fire community have been developed with the assistance of community members and business owners as well as Local, County, State, and Federal Agency representatives.  The FAQ's will be frequently updated as we receive additional questions, concerns, and information from community members and our sister agencies.

Gridley Camp Fire Community Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Q: Where is location of the FEMA Gridley Camp Fire Community for FEMA registered Fire Survivors?

A: The potential temporary housing community will be located at the City’s Industrial Park.

Q: How long will the temporary community exist?

A: The temporary community will exist for 12 months, with the possibility of extensions.  However, the Lease Agreement with the City includes a clearly defined period not to exceed July 1, 2021 under any scenario.

Q: Are the housing units considered trailers or mobile homes?

A: Most of the temporary homes will be a mobile home and is referred to as a Modular Housing Unit (MHU).  The MHU’s are 1 to 4 bedrooms, come with furnishings, and electric heat and air conditioning. No trailers are permitted.  Each MHU will be assigned specified family members only.  Each unit is based upon a month to month tenancy.  Detailed information regarding tenant agreements and conduct follow below.

Q: What guarantee is there that the temporary community won’t become a HUD mobile home park in the future?

A: The Industrial Park required State approval of the Master Plan (click here for State approved Master Plan). The City is not permitted to change the “Industrial” designation in the Master Plan.

Q: What keeps the potential temporary community from becoming a destination for the area homeless?

A: All tenants must be FEMA registered Camp Fire survivors, show proof of residency in the impacted area, and must have at least $17,000 of documented losses.  FEMA registration is much more stringent than Red Cross evacuation center requirements. The number of persons per MHU is clearly defined and monitored.

Q: How many new residents are projected to come to the community?

A: An updated rough estimate of 300 – 900 residents has been provided.

Q: How many kids are projected to come to the community?

A: Unknown until the potential temporary community is full.  However, at this this point there are less than 40 students from kindergarten to grade 12.  Families will have the option to remain in the Paradise School system.

Q: How will the local schools compensate for the influx of new students?

A: The Butte County Office of Education and the State Department of Education is currently assisting the Gridley School District with funding applications.

Q: Will the traffic light on Hwy 99 and W. Liberty ?

A: A signal has been installed by CalTrans at West Liberty intersection with Highway 99.  Construction was completed in early May.

Q: Will Vermont Street be included as an access in any way?

A: No.  Full access is not planned at this time.  However, Vermont Street will be used as an Emergency vehicle access.

Q: Will access to the Industrial Park be provided using Kentucky Street?

A: No.  Full access is not planned at this time.  However, Kentucky Street will be used as an Emergency vehicle access.

Q: Are there standards that tenants of the potential community must comply with and what are the consequences if they violate those standards?

A:  Yes, similar to private rentals, tenants of the potential temporary community are held responsible for community violations, including potential termination of their residency in the temporary community.  See the Fact Sheet below.  The Tenant Agreement can be found by clicking here.

Fact Sheet: Revocation Process for Manufactured Housing Units Release Number: FS-50

MHU occupants must routinely update FEMA with permanent housing plan progress and meet other criteria to remain in the unit. FEMA may revoke an MHU if an occupant violates Code of Federal Regulations eligibility requirements.                                                                                    

FEMA gives notice to MHU occupants who commit general conduct or program eligibility violations before revoking the unit.

Occupants may have opportunities to fix certain violations and remain in the unit.

Below describes the MHU revocation process:                                           

15-day warning notice for occupants who commit general conduct or program eligibility violations:  FEMA provides occupants a notice that describes violations they must correct within 15 days to remain in the MHU. Notices are delivered personally or through mail.  General conduct violations may include but are not limited to: excessive noise, disturbing the peace, unleashed or unattended pets, damage to the MHU beyond normal wear and tear, and not cleaning the inside and outside of the MHU.

Program eligibility violations may include but are not limited to not being regularly available to meet with FEMA and not progressing permanent housing plans in a reasonable timeframe.

Occupants who commit major violations may receive less than a 15-day warning. Examples include but are not limited to criminal activity and health or safety threats.  After the warning, FEMA issues a notice that revokes the MHU license for occupants who did not correct violations.

Q: Does FEMA provide onsite security for the housing group?

A: Yes, FEMA will provide security.

Q: How much more support will our community get from the County Sheriff?

A: Sheriff Honea has publicly indicated he is working on additional staffing in the area along with increased Mutual Aid agreements with the County and the City.

Q: Will the Gridley Police Department extend their patrol area/area of responsibility?

A: Yes, the Gridley Police Department has committed to extending their patrol area for significant events and as requested by the Sheriff’s Office.

Q: Will the City of Gridley add additional Police and Fire resources?

A: Yes, two additional Gridley Police Officers or Community Services Officers and one Firefighter (including another engine) are contemplated and will be funded with Federal funds received by the City. The Firefighter changes will be easily implemented through the City’s existing contract with CalFire.

Q: Will the City of Gridley expand Recreation Services?

A: Yes, the Gridley Recreation services are expected to be expanded and will be funded with Federal funds received by the City.  Residents are very pleased with the expansions over the past year and can expect to see even more.

Q: Will a fence be constructed around the entire Industrial Park site?

A: Yes, a permanent fence has been built along the rail line and a six-foot cyclone fence will be installed along the remaining property lines.  Based upon resident input received, some sections include cyclone fence may include privacy slats.

Q: Will FEMA assign survivors to locations in Butte County and Northern California based upon their individual needs? (Medical needs, employment needs, transportation needs, etc.)

A: Yes, FEMA is working with Chico, Oroville, Los Molinos, Corning, Glenn County, and other areas throughout Northern California to meet the needs of Camp Fire survivors.

Q: How many people have vehicles?

A: Unknown. Like Gridley, most all Paradise families are reported to have vehicles.

Q: How many parking spots are allocated to each Modular Housing Unit?

A: At least one parking spot is adjacent to each MHU.

Q: What happens for Fire Survivors when it comes to food now that they’re on their own? In the Shelter, Red Cross was able to provide 3 meals a day.

A: Most of the potential tenants have been living outside of evacuation shelters for months and providing their own food.

Q: Who is paying the City for rent of the property and utilities?

A: By contract, the Federal Government will pay the City monthly lease and utility payments.

Q: How much of the Rent Revenue and Tax Revenue will be used to pay for a Sports Complex at the Industrial Park? 

A: The City is working with FEMA to include the basic field surfaces into the design and construction of the temporary community.  As a result of the lease revenue to the City, development of the fields will be greatly expedited over the existing schedule.

Q: Will the MHU’s and infrastructure be removed by FEMA? 

A: FEMA will remove all MHU’s.  The City Industrial Park will benefit significantly from much of the infrastructure.  The City has identified the “backbone” infrastructure that will remain versus the other infrastructure that will be removed.  The City has conditioned the lease agreement to included substantial upfront funding (in addition to the lease payments) for removal of unnecessary infrastructure.  The City has also monetized risk protections.

Q: Where are the Fire Survivors that qualify for FEMA housing currently living?

A: The 30,000 Survivors are broadly disbursed in hotels, apartments, houses, and with friends and families. 

More information can be found at the Camp Fire's official response and recovery website at ButteCountyRecovers.org

Please check out the linked website for additional Maps, Housing & Shelters, Animals, Re-Entry, Safety, Disaster Recovery Center, Debris Removal, Missing Persons, Mental Health & Wellness, Donations & Volunteers, and other information.