Wildfire Disasters: FEMA Could Take Additional Actions to Address Unique Response and Recovery Challenges, Report to Congressional Requesters [open pdf - 5MB]
From the GAO [Government Accountability Office] Highlights: "In 2017 and 2018, deadly wildfires struck the state of California, tragically resulting in 159 deaths and over 32,000 structures destroyed. FEMA, as the lead federal agency for responding to and recovering from disasters, has obligated about $2 billion in housing, debris removal, and other assistance following these disasters. According to recent environmental assessments, fire seasons are increasing in length, putting more people and infrastructure at risk. GAO was asked to assess a range of response and recovery issues related to the 2017 disasters. Specifically, this report addresses (1) the assistance FEMA provided to jurisdictions in response to major disaster declarations stemming from wildfires from 2015 through 2018, (2) selected jurisdictions' perspectives on FEMA wildfire response and recovery efforts, and (3) the extent to which FEMA has identified and addressed key lessons learned. GAO obtained data on FEMA wildfire disaster assistance and statistics on fire damages and fatalities; reviewed key documentation, such as incident action plans and after action reports; and interviewed officials from FEMA headquarters and regional offices, states, and a nonprobability sample of affected local jurisdictions (e.g., counties)."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/